By Nikki Garrett Metzger
High Desert Daily
(Cajon Pass)- – A wind driven fire, named the Reload Fire, has burned approx 350 acres and caused the closure of the 15 freeway in both directions.
The 15 southbound is closed at the 138. Traffic is backed up to Oak Hill Road. The northbound 15 is closed now at the 210. The 215 north is also affected – it is closed at Palm Drive in San Bernardino.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Mathews Ranch area in the Cajon Pass. Some structures in the Devore Heights were threatened. Reports are that a school in the area was evacuated.
The fire started on east side of 15 near Blue Cut around 10:55 am, and then jumped freeway. It burned near the freeway in several spots in windy, dry conditions, which are expected to persist throughout the day.
According to Bob Poole with the USFS, fire crews were able to immediately respond to this fire because crews were on standby due to the red flag weather conditions.
8 air tankers and 3 helicopters have been working on this fire along with about 15 fire crews. The fire is burning on both sides of the freeway. Wind is sustained at 12 mph. One storage container has burned.
It is not known when the freeway will re-open, but reports are that it will be closed for several more hours.
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