Subscribe

Rain calms California fire that jumped freeway, burned cars

The flames destroyed 20 vehicles on the freeway but only two people were injured.

  • close
    Los Angeles County firefighters fight a wildfire near Wrightwood, Calif., Saturday, July 18, 2015. The wildfire swept across Interstate 15 on Friday, destroying over a dozen vehicles before burning several homes in the community of Baldy Mesa.
    Matt Hartman/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

A rare summer storm allowed firefighters to contain 60 percent of a wildfire that swept across a California interstate, torching vehicles and sending people running for their lives.

Light rain and moist air dampened the blaze in the mountainous Cajon Pass 55 miles northeast of Los Angeles, the main artery between Southern California and Las Vegas.

The wind-driven fire was sparked Friday afternoon below the elevated lanes of Interstate 15. Pushed by 40 mph winds, it raced up a hill and onto the traffic-clogged freeway, trapping hundreds of people amid a cauldron of smoke, flames, and ash.

The flames destroyed 20 vehicles on the freeway before heading into the neighboring community of Baldy Mesa, where it burned seven homes and destroyed 44 more vehicles.

In all, the fire burned about 8 ½ square miles.

Amazingly, only two people were injured. Both suffered minor smoke inhalation, authorities said, but they declined medical attention.

California is in the midst of severe drought, and wildfires are common. Some break out near freeways, but it's very unusual to have vehicles caught in the flames.

It being a Friday afternoon, however, Interstate 15 was typically jammed with vehicles traveling between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Adding to the congestion was construction work in the area.

Another wildfire that broke out Friday night in the San Gabriel Mountains and forced the evacuation of 300 campers in nearby Wrightwood is 35 percent contained after burning about 200 acres.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK