CAJON PASS: 500-acre brush fire jumps freeway, cars on fire (UPDATE)
BY ALI TADAYON/ STAFF WRITER
Published: July 17, 2015 Updated: 4:33 p.m.
A brush fire off of Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass north of Highway 138 grew from one to 500 acres in about an hour and a half, and is currently being dispatched as a "mass casualty" incident.
That means paramedics and firefighters responded to the scene prepared to deal with "possible multiple civilian burn victims." Authorities have not reported any injuries or deaths.
At 3:45 p.m. Friday, cars were seen burning on live television. The fire, officials said, had jumped the freeway.
Mandatory evacuations were enforced for the Baldy Mesa areas east of Sheep Creek Road, north of the 15, west of the 15, and south of Phelan Road. At 4:10 p.m. Friday, structure protection crews reported that multiple homes were involved.
An evacuation center was set up Friday afternoon at Serrano High School at 9292 Sheep Creek Road in Phelan.
San Bernardino County Fire Department firefighters about 2:30 p.m. Friday, responded to the vegetation fire, which is burning at "a rapid rate of speed," off of Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass, officials said.
At 2:50 p.m. Friday, officials shut down southbound traffic on Interstate 15 at Oak Hills. Officials later shut down northbound traffic.
But about 45 minutes after firefighters responded to the scene, "drone activity in the area" grounded aircraft that would have been used to drop water and flame retardant in the area.
At 3:45 p.m. Friday, helicopters could be seen making water drops in the area.
Fire Department officials sent 10 engines to the area near Sheep Creek Road and Snowline Drive in Phelan for structure protection.
In about 30 minutes, the fire grew from one to 30 acres, U.S. Forest Service officials said, burning medium to heavy amounts of fuel.
CHP issued a SigAlert at 2:46 p.m. for northbound and southbound traffic going through the Cajon Pass.
Story is developing, check back for more information.