Publication Date August 17, 2016

Homes burn near Cajon Pass as wildfire forces thousands to seek shelter: 'It seems so final'

United States
A power pole burns as the Blue Cut fire rages along both sides of Highway 138 in Summit Valley. Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

[M]ore than 82,000 people [were] forced to evacuate as a brush fire exploded Tuesday morning in the Cajon Pass, destroying homes and other structures and shutting down the 15 Freeway, a main route between Southern California and Las Vegas.

By late Tuesday, the inferno had spread to more than 18,000 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The blaze was fed by winds ranging from 15 to 25 mph, with some gusts forecast to reach up to 45 mph. The National Weather Service said a surge of dry air occurred over the San Bernardino Mountains during the afternoon, sending the dew point below zero as the temperature soared to 107 degrees