Firefighters struggle to contain Route fire near Castaic

An aerial photo shows a wildfire off Interstate 5 as traffic drives past.
An aerial photo shows a wildfire off Interstate 5 north of Castaic on Saturday.
(Associated Press)

Firefighters were still struggling Sunday to contain the Route fire near Castaic, which had temporarily shut down the 5 Freeway in both directions.

The fire has burned 454 acres of brush and chaparral as of Sunday morning, according to Angeles National Forest officials. The fire remains 0% contained.

Two firefighters sustained minor burn injuries, officials said. Nearly 400 fire personnel, assisted by water- and retardant-dropping aircraft, were battling the fire.


“Today, aircraft and ground crews will seek opportunities to go directly at the fire and build containment,” the U.S. Forest Service tweeted.

The fire broke out late Saturday afternoon and caused the California Highway Patrol to close the southbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at State Route 138. All but one lane of the freeway in both directions were reopened by Sunday morning.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Fire officials said in an announcement on the federal Incident Information System that the weather “will very much resemble Saturday,” with triple-digit temperatures expected in some parts of the region. But winds have died down, which should help firefighters.

“We don’t have any big Santa Ana winds coming, it’s just dry and warm, that’s pretty much it,” said Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “You get little breezes in the afternoon, typically, but we don’t have any big weather issues.”