All lanes of the Corona (15) Freeway in Lake Elsinore reopened in time for the Wednesday morning commute following a gas tanker fire that forced both sides of the highway to be shut down, the California Highway Patrol said.
Mile after mile of red tail lights from drivers stuck on the freeway were still visible from NewsChopper4 at 11 p.m. Tuesday - nearly 10 hours after the fire was reported.
The freeway reopened between Lake Street and Nichols Road just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, the CHP reported.
Morning commuters had been warned to plan alternate routes.
The fire was reported at 1:05 p.m. on the right shoulder of the freeway north of Nichols Road. The tanker was reportedly carrying 8,700 gallons of fuel when a tire shredded, contributing to the fire, according to the CHP.
All traffic was diverted off the freeway at Lake Street in the afternoon, according to CHP logs.
The fire was so intense, it melted the truck down on lanes.
No injuries were immediately reported.
Traffic was bumper-to-bumper at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night.