Wild fire burns in San Bernardino County

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A brush fire that began at about 2:30 p.m. Friday near the Cajon Pass  in San Bernardino County closed the I-15 freeway in both directions. At least five homes have been destroyed and at least 50 more are threatened in the Baldy Mesa area.


Aided by high winds and hot temperatures with humidity at 14 percent, the small brush fire quickly grew and then jumped the freeway, trapping at least 80 motorists who abandoned their vehicles.

Only two minor injuries were reported, although the San Bernardino Fire Department originally declared it a “mass casualty event.”

The I-15 freeway was completely closed in both directions at a time of day when thousands of Southern California residents head north to Las Vegas for the weekend. By 2:30 a.m. Saturday Morning two lanes in each direction were open, but the fire continues to rage. Fire fighters didn’t think they would have the fire even close to being 100 percent contained by this hour of the morning.

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An update: Cal Fire is reporting the “North Fire” as it is now called, has been 45 percent contained.

The I-15 is now open and evacuations “… have been lifted for residents only. Residents must enter through the checkpoint located at the intersection of Baldy Mesa Road and Phelan Road. All residents planning on re-entering must have identification with proof of residence for the affected area.”

The Incidence Information System, better know as the “InciWeb,” also mentioned a private drone had halted air tankers on Friday, causing delays for the ariel attacks on the fire. Air space above and around fires is immediately restricted and if someone is caught violating that air space, whether with a manned or unmanned aircraft, they will face serious criminal charges.