Source: CNN

A portion of Interstate 10 in downtown Los Angeles has reopened ahead of schedule after it was closed to traffic following a massive fire earlier this month, as police seek to identify a man seen near where the flames started.

The shuttered portion of freeway, which typically sees more than 300,000 daily drivers, is open for vehicle traffic, the California Highway Patrol said.

“Traffic is now flowing on all five lanes in each direction on the I-10, ahead of tomorrow morning’s commute and before the Thanksgiving holiday,” Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a social media post Sunday night.

Officials previously said the roadway would open Tuesday.

The vital transportation corridor was closed as crews worked to clear the site and assess and repair damage following the November 11 fire, which started at a nearby storage yard and spread under an elevated portion of the freeway.

Officials believe the fire was set intentionally.

CalFire on Saturday released two images and a description of a man seen on video at the Alameda Street location when the fire began.

The person was last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue shorts, a black backpack and was carrying a green scarf, a news release from CalFire said.

The individual “also had a knee brace on his right knee,” according to CalFire. “The subject appeared to have visible burn injuries on his left leg. The subject then leaves the immediate area and is unable to be located.”

Newsom said in a Sunday morning news conference that officials received potentially helpful information after the images of the person of interest were released on Saturday.

Last week, Newsom said a preliminary investigation determined the fire was started with “malice intent” and was “set intentionally.” The state fire marshal, Daniel Berlant, said last week that it was unclear how many people were involved.

The blaze was first reported at a 200-by-200-foot storage yard and then quickly spread underneath the interstate, fire officials said.

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