200-acre fire forces evacuation of So. Cal homes

By the Associated Press | September 2, 2011 | 5:45 PM EDT

HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire on Southern California national forest land has partially shut down the main interstate between Southern California and Las Vegas, closing the freeway to holiday weekend traffic and forcing evacuations of nearby homes.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller says the blaze began around 1 p.m. Friday along the northbound lanes of Interstate 15, and it swept across the southbound lanes and into San Bernardino National Forest land.

In little more than an hour it grew to 250 acres of the high desert northeast of Los Angeles.

Miller says one or two motorists may have suffered smoke inhalation.

Ten engines, 15 aircraft and a bulldozer are fighting the blaze, which has closed all southbound lanes and two northbound lanes.