East Edition Herald American Northeast Edition

Brush fire near Rio Hondo closes freeway lanes

COMMERCE — A grass and trash fire overnight in a riverbed near the Santa Ana (5) Freeway prompted officials to order freeway lane closures while crews worked to inspect the roadway for damage and all but one southbound lane remained closed July 8.

The fire was reported about 11:30 p.m. July 6 near the Rio Hondo River and Slauson Avenue, the California Highway Patrol reported. At 6:45 p.m. the next day, all but one lane was still closed with no estimate as to when the rest of the lanes would be reopened, said CHP Officer Patrick Kimball.

Firefighters extinguished the flames in about an hour and 15 minutes, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.

“It was a grass and trash fire,” Pittman said. “It was definitely dry down there.”

There were no injuries, Pittman said.

A SigAlert was issued at 11:56 p.m. July 6, shutting down both the northbound and southbound sides of the Santa Ana Freeway at Slauson Avenue, the CHP reported.

Two northbound lanes were reopened about 2:30 a.m. July 7 and one southbound lane was reopened about 6:15 a.m., the CHP reported.

Caltrans engineers were sent to check the integrity of the roadway, CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said.