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July 17, 2015

Wildfire overruns packed California freeway, burns cars

A brush fire burning in the Southern California foothills overran a packed freeway in a mountain pass on Friday, torching several vehicles as drivers abandoned their cars and scrambled to safety.

Television images showed fire-fighting aircraft dropping water onto burning vehicles. At least three cars and two tractor-trailer rigs, one carrying new vehicles, were in flames on the Interstate 15 freeway that links Southern California and Las Vegas.

Drivers could be seen standing on the side of the road in the Cajon Pass, their vehicles left stranded in the gridlocked traffic.

The wildfire, which broke out on Friday in the drought-parched foothills of San Bernardino County, had charred more than 500 acres (200 hectares) by late afternoon as crews battled to get it under control.