Southbound I-215 stopped following brushfire near Menifee

City News Service

A brush fire triggered by a car fire just south of Menifee scorched roughly 25 acres Monday, forcing partial closure of Interstate 215.

The blaze was reported at 1:10 p.m. along southbound I-215, near Scott Road, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The agency said multiple engine and hand crews from the county and Murrieta Fire & Rescue were sent to the location, encountering flames moving to the east through medium vegetation.

California Highway Patrol officers shut down two lanes on southbound I- 215 for public safety, forcing motorists into the fast lane, causing major slowing in the area. About 2:30 p.m., at county fire officials’ request, the CHP closed all southbound lanes while firefighters lit backfires to burn off remaining potential wildfire fuels.

At 2:55 p.m., the fire’s forward rate of spread was stopped.

With the help of three Cal Fire air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter, crews established tentative containment lines around most of the burn zone, according to reports from the scene. The tankers returned to their respective bases shortly before 3 p.m.

A fire in the engine block of a vehicle that pulled to the side of the freeway apparently triggered the blaze, officials said.

Just after 3 p.m., the CHP began to reopen southbound I-215. However, all lanes were not expected to be fully available until sometime after 4 p.m.

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