The entire metropolitan area of Los Angeles, California relies on a large network of highways to get commuters to where they need to go.
But a recent fire just created a massive problem for the city, and it’s going to be quite a while before it gets repaired.
And now, Governor Gavin Newsom just revealed the jaw-dropping reason behind this massive, destructive Los Angeles fire.
The fire was determined to be arson
A massive fire has now forced parts of busy Interstate 10 in California to be closed indefinitely.
This major artery runs through the city of Los Angeles, and California Governor Gavin Newsom just announced that the fire was set intentionally.
During a press conference, Newsom said that a preliminary investigation found there was “malice intent” and that the fire was “done and set intentionally.”
For now, Newson did not mention whether or not there were any leads or suspects in the case.
According to LA Mayor Karen Bass, the closure of Interstate 10 is a “crisis” that is only compounding the traffic problems in the area.
She asked travelers to plan ahead for major delays and be ready to take alternative routes to reach the bustling downtown area.
A citywide alert was also sent to residents’ phones letting them know that the freeway would be “closed indefinitely” and that they should “expect significant traffic.”
According to commuter Diana Enriquez, the closure has “been adding about 10 minutes from my day and then it’s just more anxiety and stress than the normal morning,” she told CNN affiliate KABC.
Commuter Tony Behrstock said that the closure of I-10 is “horrible” and that it is making him “miserable.”
Over 30,000 people travel this particular freeway corridor each day, said Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin.
That number equates to almost the entire population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Newsom said that the incident is “of significant consequence to the economy, to the health and safety of Angelenos. The impact to our schools, to vulnerable communities – all of that we take very seriously, and we’re sober and mindful of the urgency to get this open.”
A massive undertaking
The raging fire happened at a storage yard which spread under the freeway and ignited a second storage facility, engulfing approximately 80,000 square feet and destroying several vehicles in its wake.
Currently, there is no estimate for when the stretch of interstate will be safe to drive on, but city officials warned that it won’t be “resolved in one or two days.”
For now, CALTRANS, the state’s transportation department, asked commuters to try and work from home or take some form of public transportation if possible.
Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles County due to the closure, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that he has been communicating with California officials.
As the investigation into the fire continues, experts will assess the structural integrity of the damaged section of the freeway.
In the meantime, LA residents will simply have to find a way to make do.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for more updates to this ongoing story.