5 Freeway Reopens South of San Clemente After Crews Battle Pair of Brush Fires

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Crews gained the upper hand on two small brush fires that broke out along the 5 Freeway just south of San Clemente Wednesday night.

The fires, burning in the area of Cristianitos and Basilone roads near Trestles Beach, had earlier shut down the freeway in both directions, according to officials at Camp Pendleton.

All lanes reopened by 9 p.m., the California Highway Patrol told KTLA sister station KSWB in San Diego.

Authorities first reported the blazes around 7:10 p.m., noting they were jamming traffic on the interstate.

Firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading beyond one acre in both fires. By 8:45 p.m., crews were mopping up flames near Cristianitos Road and forward progress had been stopped at Basilone Road, officials said.

The blazes erupted amid a Santa Ana wind event that put much of San Diego County and all of Orange County under wind advisories. Gusts were in excess of 60 mph in some areas Wednesday and expected to peak overnight before weakening slightly through the rest of the week.

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