California: Fire at homeless encampment causes indefinite closure of Interstate 10

The mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, reported that the reconstruction will not be a matter of "a couple of days." Some 300,000 daily users will be affected.

A large fire that started at a homeless encampment has caused Interstate 10 to be indefinitely closed down in California. The fire caused serious structural damage to one of the busiest roads in the state, which runs east to west from Santa Monica to the Arizona border, passing through Los Angeles.

The incident occurred on Saturday inside two abandoned warehouses located under a highway bridge and occupied by dozens of homeless people. A day later, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, went with the mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, to the scene to see first-hand the damage that the fire left behind.

300,000 daily users affected

Newsom confirmed that "the state is mobilizing resources and taking steps" to reduce repair times and, thus, "minimize the impact for those traveling in and around Los Angeles" using Interstate 10. Bass said that the closure is not a matter of "a couple of days" and called for the road to be rebuilt as soon as possible.

The Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, announced on his X account (formerly Twitter) that the federal Highway administrator will visit the area. He also said that the Department of Transportation (USDOT) will help state and local authorities in any way it can.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the indefinite closure of the highway will affect about 300,000 daily users. The newspaper explained that before the reconstruction begins, an investigation will be carried out that will conclude this Monday morning. In addition, inspectors will have to check the condition of several vital parts of the structure, such as the pillars and the base of the track.