Officials Close 23 Freeway As Wind-Driven Easy Fire Scorches Simi Valley

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A fast-moving wildfire that started during a powerful Santa Ana wind event early Wednesday morning has prompted officials to close a portion of the 23 Freeway through Simi Valley.

The Easy Fire began about 6:15 a.m. and quickly scorched 1,400 acres in the hills along Tierra Rejada Road, just north of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Smoke from the fire eventually started drifting over the 23 Freeway creating a visibility problem for drivers.

Officials determined the smoke was too dangerous for commuters and closed the freeway in both directions between Avenida De Los Arboles and New Los Angeles Avenue where the 118 Freeway connects.

The California Highway Patrol asked drivers not to go around cones blocking the on-ramps to the 23 Freeway.

“There is heavy smoke coming across SR23 & you will not be able to see,” a portion of the tweet read.

Southbound traffic lanes of the 23 Freeway were reopened Wednesday night, but northbound lanes remained closed, officials said.

A map shows the freeway closures due to the Easy Fire on Oct. 30, 2019. (Credit: California Highway Patrol)

A map shows the freeway closures due to the Easy Fire on Oct. 30, 2019. (Credit: California Highway Patrol)

The freeway closures come as officials have issued mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks and surrounding unincorporated areas.

The Fire Department urged residents to check the county’s website to see exact locations.

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