After the Tick fire jumped the 14 Freeway early Friday, causing a portion of the freeway to close in both directions, getting in and out of the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys became a traffic nightmare for morning commuters.
The freeway was closed beginning at 4 a.m. between Agua Dulce Canyon and Sand Canyon roads, according to the California Department of Transportation. Officials said southbound traffic was being diverted at Agua Dulce Canyon Road and turned around.
Neighborhoods on both sides of the freeway were under evacuation.
Northbound traffic on the 14 Freeway will need to turn around at Golden Valley Road. The northbound offramp to Placerita Canyon Road is closed.
Caltrans officials did not say when the freeway would reopen.
In the early morning hours, motorists were surrounded by flames after the Tick fire jumped the freeway, as it was pushed south by strong Santa Ana winds. Drivers could be seen in bumper-to-bumper traffic as they attempted to navigate the roadway. The wooden posts of guardrails glowed as they caught embers.
The freeway closure was expected to cause major backups during the morning commute.
Caltrans officials are asking commuters to avoid the area.
The #TickFire has jumped the 14 Freeway. Freeway is closed between Golden Valley and Agua Dulce. Please find alternate routes for your morning commute. Our first responders need to be able to get where they need to go to protect life and property. #AvoidTheArea— Santa Clarita City (@santaclarita) October 25, 2019