Hill Fire Closes Interstate 15 and Destroys Two Homes

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(Best Syndication News) Traffic along the Interstate 15 Freeway was closed in both directions today as firefighters fought to contain a brushfire. The tie-up halted Friday travel to Las Vegas delaying motorists all the way to Devore.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time; the Friday before the Labor Day weekend. Friday traffic from Rancho Cucamonga to Devore is typically heavy on Friday’s, but this Friday it was especially bad.

Two homes were damaged and two more were completely destroyed. The fire, dubbed the Hill Fire, moved quickly into the unincorporated Oak Hills area of San Bernardino County outside Los Angeles.

Just last week firefighters were battling the Oasis Fire in nearby Pinon Hills. That fire is now 100 percent contained as of Tuesday.

Cal Fire reports that the Hill Fire is only 20 percent contained and has burned 1,100 acres so far. The winds usually die down after sunset giving firefighters a break. Tonight the winds are calm measuring zero mph in Pinon Hills.

There was a mandatory evacuation east of Baldy Mesa and south of Mesquite in Oak Hills. There are 831 personnel on hand as of 6:00 pm Friday. Resources to fight the fire include 22 handcrews, 14 airtankers (including the DC-10), 5 helicopters, 5 dozers, 5 water tenders, and 72 fire engines.

Two firefighters were injured; one from heat exhaustion and the other needed emergency medical services.

Tonight the I-15 is open in both directions, but incident commander Wakoski says the freeway may be closed from time-to-time because of the smoke.

Witnesses say the fire started in the center median of the Freeway near Hesperia and Oak Hills. The cause of the fire, which was first reported at 12:43 pm Friday, is still under investigation.

By: Dan Wilson

Image: Smoke spreads across Victor Valley by Dan Wilson

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