Fire sparked by big rig accident shuts down I5 southbound lanes in the Grapevine

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A traffic accident involving two burning big rig trucks that sparked a brush fire shut down southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in the Grapevine during Thursday afternoon traffic, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A hillside near the accident was "burning vigorously" before beginning to subside around 4, UCLA Blueprint editor Jim Newton told KPCC.

"It seems like they're making headway — the smoke is subsiding some, but people are out of their cars, and walking around, and taking pictures — generally getting restless, I would say," Newton said.

Fire units, CHP officers and hazmat all responded to the scene, Newton said. There were also helicopters, as well as planes dropping flame retardant on the fire. The accident happened around 3 p.m.

"I assume some people will be in this a very, very long time, because [the traffic jam] goes back as far as the eye can see," Newton said. "It's very hot. My car thermometer registers 99 degrees. ... It's hard to walk around because it's so hot."

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