Grass and brush caught fire just next the maze of freeway ramps in the Newhall Pass Saturday, forcing closure of the critical freeway junction at the north end of Los Angeles and scrambling three fire agencies.
Helicopters, bulldozers and ground crews were rushed to the hillside north of the junction of the Golden State (5) and Antelope Valley (14) freeways at 1:20 p.m.
People near Porter Ranch reported the strong smell of smoke drifting into their neighborhood.
Within a half hour, the fire had jumped to the west side of the 5. Superscooper planes were used to put out those flames.
All traffic on the 5 and 14 freeways was blocked, cinching the only direct route between Los Angeles and northern destinations.
Winds gusting to 65 miles per hour were reported at 1:30 p.m. at a fire station five miles to the southeast of the fire.
Crews from the city and county of Los Angeles, and the Angeles National Forest, were called out to the fire. The rugged hillsides of Newhall Pass are known to frequently catch fire during the dry season.
-- City News Service