A van packed with fireworks has exploded and burned on a Southern California freeway, clogging the main road between Los Angeles and Las Vegas at the beginning of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Camara says the box van caught fire shortly before 1:30 p.m. Thursday on southbound Interstate 15 several miles from the Nevada border.

Jay Rutherford was driving to Los Angeles on tour with his Nashville, Tennessee-based band Los Colognes when they saw billowing smoke and stalled traffic.

He says there were sparks and what he calls "psychedelic" explosions coming from the van.

The fire closed southbound lanes for half an hour and backed up traffic for several miles into Nevada.

No injuries were reported.

The van driver fled and hasn't been found.