Freeways Begin Reopening After Caltrans Urged ‘Avoid the Entire San Fernando Valley Region’ Due to Saddleridge Fire

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Some 16 hours after multiple freeways were closed due the Saddleridge Fire raging in the northern reaches of Los Angeles,  a CHP official said lanes would begin reopening Friday evening.

Surface streets had been jammed for most of the day, and many drivers in the San Clarita and Antelope valleys had been unable to get south to the L.A. area since the blaze broke out in the Sylmar Thursday night.

“We are encouraging people to avoid the entire San Fernando Valley region if they don’t need to be there,” Caltrans spokesman Michael Comeaux said midday Friday.

The closure of the 5 Freeway for some 15 hours effectively made the 101 and 15 freeways the only routes connecting Southern California to the Central Valley and Bay Area. By about 3:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers began escorting cars on the southbound 5 Freeway, and northbound lanes reopened about three hours later.

At a 5 p.m. news conference, CHP Capt. Dennis Ford said all closures would be lifted with the exception of the 210 Freeway and the right-hand lane of the northbound 14 Freeway, but Caltrans indicated at about 5:45 p.m. closures remained in place.

The latest closures are posted at Caltrans’ site quickmap.dot.ca.gov and are listed below.

The following sections of freeway remain closed Friday night, aCaltrans District 7 announced:

5 Freeway

  • Southbound 5 connector of the northbound 14 Freeway
  • Southbound 5 connector to eastbound 210 Freeway

210 Freeway

  • Westbound 210 Freeway at the 118 Freeway

118 Freeway

  • The 118 Freeway had been shut down, but reopened in both directions by late Friday morning
  • Eastbound 118 connector to westbound 210 Freeway

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