A stretch of Interstate 8 in East County was closed to traffic today as a 75-acre brush fire burned east of Pine Valley, but was later reopened, authorities said.
Traffic was diverted off the eastbound freeway at Sunrise Highway, and westbound traffic was detoured at Buckman Springs Road, CHP officers said. Detoured traffic was allowed to use the frontage road, a section of old U.S. 80, to get past the smoky freeway lanes, according to CHP officials.
The fire was reported shortly after 12:30 p.m. by caller on westbound Interstate 8 approaching Pine Valley, who said the smoke appeared to be from a fire about two miles north on Sunrise Highway.
Arriving officers found heavy smoke on the freeway, and first closed the westbound side, then the eastbound lanes.
A National Weather Service wind advisory was in effect when the fire was reported, but expired at 2 p.m.
Cal Fire personnel assisted U.S. Forest Service firefighters at the vegetation fire, Cal Fire officials said. The Lakeside Fire Protection District dispatched a strike team and engines from Lakeside, Alpine, Viejas and Sycuan were also sent, Lakeside fire officials said.
As of about 4:30 p.m., the blaze was mostly under control, but crews remained on scene mopping up hot spots, officials with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.
—City News Service