A traffic nightmare in the San Gabriel Valley was expected to continue past the rush-hour period after a big-rig fire shut down a section of the busy 60 Freeway.

The blaze, which was reported shortly before 3 p.m., caused officials to close all lanes of the freeway in both directions in Hacienda Heights. The California Highway Patrol said that eastbound lanes would be closed until at least around 8 p.m. and that westbound lanes would be closed until around 7 p.m.

Eastbound traffic was being diverted to the 605 Freeway, and westbound vehicles were being diverted at Azusa Avenue. The freeway is one of main arteries connecting Los Angeles to the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire.

The CHP said traffic was flooding area streets, including 7th and Gale avenues.

The big rig's driver initially told authorities that the rig was carrying compressed hydrogen.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Scott Miller said firefighters had knocked down the blaze and were spraying streams of water on the tank to keep it cool.

"We're putting up a water curtain," Miller said.

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