Blaze Snarls Traffic on Ventura Freeway

A fire burned a 700-foot stretch of grass and bushes next to the westbound Ventura Freeway in Woodland Hills and snarled rush-hour traffic Monday afternoon.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said there were no injuries in the fire, which was reported about 4 p.m. along the De Soto Avenue on-ramp.

The fire threatened dozens of cars in the Kaiser Foundation Hospital parking lot next to the freeway, but did not damage any of them. Leaves on the roof of a storage shed caught fire, but the flames were put out before the shed was damaged, officials said.

As about 70 firefighters battled the blaze, traffic on the freeway slowed to a crawl, backing up vehicles to Tarzana. The fire was extinguished at 4:35 p.m., department spokesman Jim Wells said.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation, but firefighters believe that it was ignited by a burning object on the roadside. Damage was estimated at $1,000.

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