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Fire Chars 3,500 Acres, At Least 20 Vehicles Along I-15 Freeway In Cajon Pass

SAN BERNARDINO ( — About 3.500 acres have reportedly burned by a  fast-moving grass fire on both sides of the Cajon Pass.

The fire has shut down part of Interstate 15 Friday, authorities said.

people fleeing cajon fire
(credit: CBS)

Officials first said as many as 30 motorists might have been burned after being  trapped in vehicles overwhelmed by the quick-moving flames and smoke.

At least 20 cars could be seen actively burning on the roadway.

The vehicles include a semi truck and car carrier.

Officials said 10 vehicles were damaged.

Several water-dropping aircraft have tried to extinguish fires in the vehicles.

Authorities have now downplayed reports of burn injuries but said ambulances were dispatched to the area. Late Friday, officials said there were two minor injuries reported. They did not say if they included burns.

RELATED STORY: 'It Was Terrifying' Said Drivers On I-15 In Recounting Moments After Wildfire Erupted

As of 10 p.m., officials said the fire was about 5 percent contained.

The roughly 3.500-acre North Fire forced officials to close the southbound I-15 at Oak hills, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Cajon Pass Fire
(credit: Stacey Gualandi)

At least one lane was closed along the northbound I-15.

Mandatory evacuations have been called for in Baldy Mesa areas: East of Sheep Creek Road North of I-15 West of I-15 South of Phelan Road.

An evacuation center has been established at Serrano High School (9292 Sheep Creek Rd. Phelan 92371).

There have been reports that at least five structures were burned. It was unclear if these were homes or outbuildings.

The CHP is amassing a series of tow trucks from the Victorville area to help remove the burned or stranded vehicles.

The CHP said the freeway might not be fully open until late Saturday.

Late Friday, KCAL9's Crystal Cruz said that scenario looked unlikely as crews discovered some damage to the southbound side of the roadway.

Holes in the roadway would have to be repaired first.

Britney Hopper reported from Baldy Mesa where a mandatory evacuation order remained through the evening.

She spoke to one resident who didn't have time to grab anything but his dog.

"All of a sudden the winds switch direction and it came right over my property," said Richard Raill.

For traffic updates, listen to KNX 1070 Newsradio and visit

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