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California

Saddleridge fire traffic nightmare eases as freeways reopen

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The 5 and 14 freeways were closed at the Newhall Pass on Friday due to the Saddleridge fire.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

The traffic woes caused by the Saddleridge fire eased considerably Saturday morning as many freeways and other key roads reopened.

For much of Friday, stretches of four freeways were closed due to the fire.

As of Saturday morning the closed portions of the following freeways had reopened, according to Caltrans:

  • 5 Freeway
  • 210 Freeway
  • 405 Freeway
  • 118 Freeway
  • 14 Freeway
  • Northbound 5 Freeway truck route.

This is what remains closed:

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  • Southbound 5 truck route
  • Southbound 14 to southbound 5 truck route
  • Northbound 5 to northbound 14 truck route
By late morning Friday, the Saddleridge fire in the San Fernando Valley had exploded to 4,700 acres and burned 25 homes.

Officials stressed that many roads in the fire zones of Sylmar, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch remain off limits as firefighters continue to the battle the blaze.

On Friday, the freeway closures caused traffic backups across the northern San Fernando Valley as well as Santa Clarita. Residents north of the Newhall Pass struggled to get into the Valley for work, and Santa Clarita officials urged residents to stay off the roads if possible.

As of Saturday morning, the fire had burned 7,552 acres and was 19% contained. At least 31 structures had burned.

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More than 1,000 firefighters from multiple agencies fought the sprawling blaze through the night, deploying eight helicopters and amphibious fixed-wing “super scoopers.” Ground crews manned bulldozers to cut containment lines into hillsides. At least one air tanker blanketed fire retardant across the ridges between Granada Hills and Porter Ranch.


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