Small fires plague freeway |

Small fires plague freeway

Several small roadside fires along the Golden Center Freeway slowed traffic Tuesday afternoon and led officials to close the Gold Flat Road exit from the southbound freeway lanes for a short period of time.

The blazes were believed to be caused by sparks from a vehicle part, such as an exhaust component, dragging along the road, said Tim Fike, chief of the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District. The fires were reported shortly after 1 p.m.

The flames spread into nine separate fires between the Gold Flat Road and Sacramento Street exits, and all the blazes were contained by 1:30 p.m., Fike said.

Heavy smoke across the freeway slowed traffic, but all lanes were kept open.

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