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A 100-acre fire burning near Cal State San Bernardino campus left at least three people with burn injuries, caused the closure of the 215 Freeway and prompted hourslong evacuations on Tuesday, a day when wildfires were raging across Southern California.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department asked for immediate backup as winds blew at 30 to 35 mph.
The California Highway Patrol’s traffic incident log described the situation on the 215 Freeway as “IMMEDIATE LIFE THREAT ON THE FWY.”
#LittleMountainFire: 2 Type 3 Strike Teams requested Immediate Need. Fire under influence of 30-35 mph SantaAna winds.
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) December 5, 2017
The blaze was reported about 12:30 p.m. on a hill behind a commercial building near the University Parkway exit to the 215 Freeway, according county fire spokesman Eric Sherwin.
Just before 3 p.m., the acreage was increased from 25 to 100 acres, with 0 percent containment.
Sherwin said two there were two burn patients, one of them in critical condition. A county Fire Department tweet earlier said ambulances were requested for three burn patients.
The Fire Department said 25 acres had burned in the wind-driven fire with a rapid rate of spread.
CHP units responded to help turn around cars on the freeway as the “fire is getting close,” the log stated just after 1 p.m. A SigAlert was issued at 12:44 p.m.
The 215 Freeway was closed in both directions from the 210 Freeway to the 15 Freeway “due to smoke/embers impacting the lanes,” the Fire Department said. Some lanes began reopening in the 4 o’clock hour.
Mandatory evacuations that had been in effect for hours were lifted around 6:30 p.m., according to the San Bernardino Police Department.
All evacuations have been lifted. Little Mountain is still closed to Traffic. Please find alternate routes. #LittleMountainFire
— San Bernardino PD (@SanBernardinoPD) December 6, 2017
The mandatory evacuations had been in effect for the following locations:
- Bond Street off Little Mountain;
- homes east of Little Mountain Drive and north of West Edgehill Road;
- Marshall Street from Blair Park east to Miramonte.
The following locations were also evacuated:
- Valley Court
- Big Canyon
- Shandin Circle
- Circle Road and all streets that are off of Circle Road
- 1200 block of Edgemont
- 3200 block of Miramonte
- 3200 block of Grande Vista
- 1300 block of Marshall
Although all evacuation orders were lifted, police warned motorists that Little Mountain was still closed to traffic for an undetermined amount of time. The San Bernardino County Fire Department asked residents to be careful when they return home because of the ongoing firefight.
Smoke was blowing into the Muscoy area, the school district stated on Twitter. Students from Shandin Hills Middle School were taken to Holcomb Elementary, where parents can pick their children up.
Also Tuesday afternoon, the Meyers Fire burned 34 acres in Devore, in the Cajon Pass. Forward progress on that fire was stopped about 5 p.m.
— CAL FIRE BDU (@CALFIREBDU) December 5, 2017