California Fires Worsen Traffic

California Fires Worsen Traffic: How Do You Get Around It?

California is already notorious for bad traffic, congestion, and long commute times. But with the wildfires currently arising, many commuters are calling their drive “nightmarish.” The numerous wildfires blazing across the state have been fueled by high winds, which have resulted in many highways and roads being shut down.

For Californian’s, the disruption in an already frustrating commute is almost unbearable. Portions of Interstate 405 have been shut down, as has Route 101. With thousands of acres burning, officials don’t know when or where roads could be shut down next. So how can commuters avoid the chaos and upended GPS navigation?

The California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection has a website dedicated to fire incidents. From their website, you can view active fires, their containment level, and the potential impact. Many local agencies are also providing maps of evacuation areas and impact areas! For example:

  •       Los Angeles Fire Department
  •       Ventura County
  •       University of California Cooperative Extension

Checking current closures and evacuation routes is one way to avoid some of the potential snarls. Unfortunately, if you navigate around the closures, your GPS may take you on a series of back roads, through residential areas, or even driving a long way around. What that means is that drivers are going to have to exercise more patience than ever.

In an already deadly situation, the last thing that law enforcement and rescue personnel need is to have to respond to unnecessary road rage or auto accident scenes. Drivers must take the wildfires into account before making a commute. Plan ahead and check routes early on in the day. Work flexible hours if you can to avoid already traffic-heavy times of day. Work remotely if possible to avoid having to commute.