CAJON PASS (CBSLA.com) — For drivers trapped in their vehicles on a Southland freeway when a massive blaze erupted, it was a sight like they’d never seen.
On Friday afternoon, a brush fire whipped through the Cajon Pass at a rapid rate of spread, leaving vehicles stranded on the Interstate 15.
At least a dozen vehicles were charred in the blaze, which had scorched an estimated 3,500 acres. It was at 5 percent containment as of 10 p.m.
With little time to spare, many motorists got out of their vehicles, grabbed whatever they could and ran up the hill.
They recounted the terrifying moments:
“We were stuck in the path, so my car is gone,” said one woman. “We were in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Saw the flames. They told us to get out and run. We ran up a hill.”
“And it kept going. Next thing we knew, it was on the other side of the freeway, and it got so big that we had to walk up a freeway,” another woman said. “It was terrifying … all the firefighters, God bless you. Thank you. You guys are very courageous.”
“We were, of course, just driving to go back home from Vegas, and it started with a little brush fire and so they stopped the traffic. And then before we knew it, the winds picked up and they came rushing and they evacuated everybody,” a third woman said. “We all had to run up the hill as far as we could go and wait and wait. My car is a tragedy.”
“We just saw some flames on the left side and everybody was stopped because emergency vehicles were trying to put the fire out. They jumped over the freeway and ran up the hill, so everybody ran out of their car,” said one man. “Everybody ran out of their cars and ran up the hill.”
No major injuries have been reported.
The cause of the fire is unknown.