[UPDATED] Firefighters extinguished flames along the westbound 210 Freeway near Lake Avenue in Pasadena on Tuesday afternoon.
The flames ignited about 1:20 p.m. and scorched about half an acre of brush before being declared “knocked down” shortly after 2 p.m.
Initial reports indicated the flames may have originated from two to three ignition points, but the cause remained under investigation.
Firefighters arrived on scene to find some nearby residents pouring water on the flames with their garden hoses, “which we discourage,” city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
As drivers stuck in traffic behind the blaze grew impatient, several began making illegal turns and running over fire hoses as they tried to get out of the jam, risking damage to the hoses and distracting the firefighters from the flames, she added. She asked for patience from those delayed by the incident.
Firefighters were expected to remain on scene for several hours watching for flare-ups, Derderian said. Investigators were summoned to look into the cause.
The three right-hand lanes of the westbound freeway were shut down as a result of the fire, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Side streets between Hill and Lake avenues, between the 210 Freeway and Villa Street, were expected to remain closed through 6 p.m., fire officials said.