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October 24, 2003 10:12AM
Article Published: Friday, October 24, 2003 - 8:24:20 AM PST

Fire closes freeways

Associated Press

Miles of flame, pushed by 40 mph winds, jumped ridges and roads on a smoky five-mile march toward Rancho Cucamonga early Friday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and the closure of two major freeways.

More than 3,800 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest have been scorched since the fire started Tuesday in the area about 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, said Bill Peters, a fire information officer for the blaze.

Billowing clouds of smoke hung above the heavily developed area, while the California Highway Patrol ordered closure of Interstate 210 and Interstate 15, the main route from Southern California to Las Vegas.

Evacuations were ordered Friday morning for hundreds of residents in northeastern Rancho Cucamonga, and about 2,000 people were ordered out of the Lytle Creek area Thursday because the blaze was expected to block the only road into the area.

About 1,400 firefighters battled the blaze, which was 17 percent contained early Friday, Peters said. Triple-digit temperatures were expected Friday, with winds estimated at 25 mph and 40 mph gusts, said National Weather Service forecaster Frank O'Leary. The even stronger, hot Santa Ana winds were expected to pick up over the weekend.

Strong winds delayed deployment of firefighting aircraft Friday morning. The Red Cross set up a temporary shelter in Fontana and all elementary and middle schools in nearby Etiwanda were ordered closed Friday.

The fire, which authorities blamed on arson, was one of several that swept through Southern California this week, destroying five homes and chewing through nearly 11,000 acres.

A fire near Piru in Ventura County had charred about 700 acres by early Friday, said Barry Peckham, a spokesman for Los Padres National Forest. The fire was 10 percent contained and was burning away from homes. A cause of the fire, reported Thursday, had not been determined.

At Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, 50 miles north of San Diego, 1,350 firefighters were battling a 4,109-acre brush fire that was threatening 300 homes Friday morning, fire officials said.

Residents were asked to evacuate and a temporary shelter was set up by the Red Cross in Fallbrook.

Fire officials said the fire started on a training range Tuesday, apparently sparked by ammunition used in military exercises, and was 40 percent contained early Friday. Firefighters have been unable to enter the southwestern area of the fire because it could be littered with unexploded ordnance, officials said. Officials had no estimate on full containment.

A 2,857-acre fire in the Reche Canyon area of Riverside County had been completely contained by Thursday evening. It had destroyed five homes, a barn, 21 outbuildings, a boat and several vehicles.

Officials said an arsonist started three fires to set the Riverside County blaze and were seeking information on a black pickup seen just before the wildfire erupted, Vogt said


katrina island 705October 24, 2003 10:12AM


Rick 437October 24, 2003 03:29PM


Rick 442October 24, 2003 04:01PM

Re: FIRE! FIRE! Please Post if access to DC is affected

Sam D. 486October 24, 2003 04:11PM

Re: FIRE! FIRE! Please Post if access to DC is affected

Paul P. 492October 24, 2003 05:57PM

Re: FIRE! FIRE! Please Post if access to DC is affected

Rick 452October 24, 2003 06:20PM


Rick 455October 24, 2003 06:18PM


Ron 433October 24, 2003 07:45PM

Santa Ana Winds

Rick 436October 24, 2003 07:53PM

Re: Santa Ana Winds

Paul P. 463October 26, 2003 08:08AM

Re: Santa Ana Winds

Rick 473October 26, 2003 11:51AM


Ron 788October 27, 2003 05:52AM

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