Southern California wildfire shuts down 2 freeways

A cloud of smoke from the wildfire looms over a section of the Interstate 15 in San Bernadino, Calif. on Nov. 2, 2012. KCBS

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Several miles of Interstate 15 and the 215 Freeway in Southern California have been closed due to a rapidly-growing wildfire, officials said.

The fire is now more than 350 acres and is being fueled by Santa Ana winds, which are gusting at 15 miles per hour, CBS station KCBS in Los Angeles reports. Some evacuations have been ordered by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office.

The interstate is the main highway from the region to Las Vegas. The I-15 closure, which is near the 215 Freeway interchange, affects about 12 miles of the northbound I-15 and eight miles of the southbound route, according to Riverside and San Bernadino counties' the Press-Enterprise.

U.S. Forest Service dispatcher Elizabeth Barrera says the fire began shortly before 11 a.m. Monday in Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County.

More than 200 firefighters aided by 12 aircraft are battling the flames in hot, dry weather on brush-dotted foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. Other resources include 11 engines, six water tenders and four hand crews, according to San Bernadino National Forrest officials.

An area known as Mathews Ranch has been ordered evacuated. It's not clear how many people that involves.

Television news reports show the line of flames has jumped the freeway and sent an enormous mushroom shaped cloud into the sky.

There are no estimates as to when the freeway will reopen, the CHP said on their Twitter.

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