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Crews battle 200-acre brush fire along Grapevine in Kern County

August 16, 2011 |  7:50 pm

Grapevine Fire
Firefighters were battling a 200-acre brush fire Tuesday evening along the Grapevine, shutting down two southbound lanes on busy Interstate 5 so crews could access the blaze.

About 250 firefighters were taking advantage of light winds and had the fire about 45%  contained, the Kern County Fire Department said.

"We're hoping that the wind stays in our favor," Fire Department spokesman Cary Wright told The Times. He said crews would work through the night.

Southbound traffic along  I-5 was backed up as vehicles moved slowly through the pass, officials said.

Earlier in the day, six air tankers and four helicopters were battling the fire, which briefly threatened nearby homes. The cause of the blaze, which broke out shortly after 4 p.m., was under investigation.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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Photo: The fire shortly after it broke out. Credit: Kern County Fire Department

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