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Fire ignites north of Castaic

Blaze slows traffic, burns 75 acres of brush

Posted: July 1, 2009 10:24 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2009 4:30 a.m.

A fire that sparked in the median of Interstate 5, just north of Templin Highway, jumped the highway forcing emergency officials to close the northbound lanes on Wednesday.

The fire ignited at 4:49 p.m. in the center divider of the northbound Interstate 5, one mile north of the Templin Highway exit, said Steve Zermeno, Inspector of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

No structures were threatened by the fire.

More than 125 Los Angeles County firefighters assisted United States Forest Service firefighters fighting what they dubbed the “Island Fire.”

Three County Fire aircrafts helped battle the blaze from above, Zermeno said.  

Motorists traveling along the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 were stopped south of the Parker Road exit in Castaic, backing up rush hour traffic, Zermeno said.

Lon Adams, 55, of Frazier Park, was on his way home when the fire started.

Adams — among other motorists — was between Parker Road and Templin Highway when the Island Fire ignited, he said.

California Highway Patrol stopped Adams and other motorists just south of Templin Highway as the blaze jumped the median and ignited the brush east of the highway.

Adams was only a few feet away from the flames.

“It was kind of scary watching the fire burn only three lanes from where I was stopped,” he said.

As of 9:45 p.m., the fire burned 75 acres of brush and was 75 percent contained, according to county fire. The fire was expected to be fully contained by late Wednesday evening.

An arson investigation team reported to the scene of the fire. Whether arson was involved in sparking the flames has not been determined, Zermeno said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he added.   



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