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15 Freeway closed, 200 acres burn in Cajon Pass brush fire


View Devore fire in a larger map

Fueled by Santa Ana winds and high heat, a fast-moving brush fire consumed more than 200 acres in the Cajon Pass and triggered mandatory evacuations in the Mathews Ranch area, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said.

The Devore fire closed the 15 Freeway in the Cajon Pass and also threatened homes in Devore Heights, although mandatory evacuations have not been ordered there, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller.

It broke out shortly before 11 a.m. off the northbound I-15 Freeway between the Kenwood Avenue and Cleghorn exits.

Pushed by 10 mph winds, the fire was burning southeast in steep and rugged terrain, where it was immediately threatening homes in Mathews Ranch Road and could pose a similar problem for residents in Devore Heights, Miller said.

At least 200 firefighters were on scene supported by four helicopters and three air tankers with more available if needed.

The fire broke out off of the 15 Freeway and winds blew embers to the other side of the freeway, prompting the freeway's closure in both directions.

To the south, the 15 Freeway was closed at the 215 Freeway interchange. To the north, it was closed at Cleghorn. Officials said that because of the unpredictable nature of the fire, those boundaries could expand.

The northbound 215 Freeway was closed at the Palm-Kendall exit. Also shut down was Cajon Boulevard, the old Route 66.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

 
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