Authorities began reopening lanes of the southbound 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita Friday night, hours after the northbound lanes were cleared for traffic s the wind-driven Tick Fire continued to rage in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to Caltrans.
The freeway had been fully closed until 4 p.m., creating a nightmare for commuters headed out of or into the Antelope Valley early Friday morning. Flames jumped the roadway about 2:30 a.m.
All northbound lanes were opened Friday afternoon, Caltrans officials said.
Southbound lanes between Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita and Agua Dulce Canyon Road remained shut most of the day, but three traffic lanes were reopened about 9:30 p.m., according to Caltrans.
Video from the Sand Canyon area showed embers blowing from one side of the freeway and landing in the brush on the other side, sparking new fires around 3 a.m.
Vehicles headed southbound out of the Antelope Valley were being taken off at Escondido Canyon road and Agua Dulce Canyon Road.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed miles of backed up traffic in the southbound lanes as of 5 a.m.
The Sierra Highway alternate was also closed between Davenport and Golden Valley, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Commuters trying to get out of the Antelope Valley do have the option of heading northbound on the 14 Freeway and then taking Highway 138 westbound all the way to the southbound 5 Freeway.
The route is several miles longer but will avoid the fire zone and the backup.
Many other surface streets were also closed due to the fire. Details were in a statement from the Sheriff's Department.