Traffic

Grass fire, smoke near Northgate Blvd. blocking Interstate 80 lanes in North Sacramento

Caltrans

Traffic on eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Northgate Bouelvard are snarled Thursday afternoon due to smoke from a series of grass fires burning near the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol and Sacramento Fire Department.

CHP officers are running traffic breaks, and cars going east are backed up as far as the I-5 split due to the fire, which was reported around 1:30 p.m. One lane remains shutdown, although visibility is back to normal, according to CHP dispatched logs.

Two fires, one near Northgate Boulevard and another by the offramp for Norwood Avenue, were roughly half-acre each, according to Capt. Keith Wade, spokesman for the fire department. Two vehicle accidents were caused by the smoke, according to Wade.

An earlier fire sparked around 11:30 a.m. not far from the freeway, near Rio Linda Boulevard, and had backed up lanes as well, he said.

Wade said authorities received one eyewitness report of a person setting a fire. All of the fires have been labeled as suspicious and an investigation is under way.

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