Homeless Encampment Fire Shuts Down LA Freeway Indefinitely

A massive homeless encampment fire beneath an underpass has indefinitely shut down a Los Angeles freeway.

The fire that closed down the 10 Freeway occurred on Saturday in two storage areas underneath the freeway that doubled as a homeless encampment.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “The incident, which closed westbound and eastbound lanes of the busy freeway between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue, will significantly affect traffic in the area, officials said at a news conference Sunday, without offering a timetable for reopening.”

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (D) spoke out about the incident, explaining that local residents should expect the freeway to be shut down for an extended period of time.

“Unfortunately, there is no reason to think that this is going to be over in a couple of days,” Bass said. “We will need to come together and all cooperate until the freeway is rebuilt.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has declared a state of emergency in response to the fire in order to expedite the repairs, citing the “anxiety of millions and millions that live in this region.”

An estimated 300,000 vehicles travel on the 10 Freeway daily, meaning that this closure will likely cause significant frustration and inconvenience for a lot of travelers. Traffic will likely increase on adjacent freeways where vehicles will be diverted, including the 5, 110 and 710.

The Los Angeles Times has provided details on the expected process of reopening, writing: “Several things must occur before construction can begin — starting with an investigation into the cause of the fire. It is expected to be finished by 6 a.m. Monday. Mitigation of hazardous materials also needs to be completed before a detailed structural analysis of the damaged portions of the freeway can commence. Engineers will be inspecting the freeway’s columns and bridge deck.”

California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin has reportedly described the planned repairs as a “significant” challenge, noting that they are “not going to be an easy task for our structural engineers at Caltrans.”

This is just the latest issue caused by California’s rampant homelessness problem, as the state has become the most popular location for homeless people to gather and live freely on the streets without fear of hassle from police.

Critics of California’s homeless-friendly policies took to social media to hold Democrat politicians responsible for the fire, with popular X account Libs of TikTok pointing out a startling fact: “Did you know that in 2021 there was an average of 25 fires a day at homeless encampments in LA? Welcome to @GavinNewsom’s California!”