BALDY MESA ( — Crews Saturday morning continued to battle a wildfire that left motorists panicked and stranded along the 15 Freeway Friday.

The North Fire started arout 2:30 p.m. near Interstate 15 north of Highway 138, according to a joint statement from San Bernardino County Fire, CALFIRE and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

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By 6 a.m. Saturday, fire officials say it had grown to approximately 3,500 acres and was five percent contained.

Fire officials say three homes, eight outbuildings and 30 vehicles have been destroyed or damaged in the community of Baldy Mesa.

The fire sparked panic along the 15 Freeway Friday when multiple vehicles caught fire as flames crossed southbound lanes.

Twenty vehicles, including two semis, were destroyed. An additional 10 vehicles were damaged.

A video posted on Instagram showed horses running alongside cars on the freeway to escape the fire.

Authorities say two people suffered minor injuries.

Mandatory evacuations remained in place for the following areas:

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  • East of Sheep Creek Road
  • North of Highway 138
  • West of Highway 15/Highway 395
  • South of Phelan Road

An evacuation center is established for residents at the Serrano High School, located at 9292 Sheep Creek Road, in Phelan.

Large and small animals can be taken to the Victor Valley Fairgrounds, located at 14800 7th Street in Victorville.

Southbound Highway 15 had three lanes reopened Saturday morning. All northbound lanes of Highway 15 had been reopened.

Approximately 1,000 firefighters and nearly a dozen aircraft were assigned to the blaze.

Officials say an unmanned aircraft system, or drone, halted tanker operations for about 25 minutes but operations soon resumed.

Fire Managers urge individuals and organizations that fly drones to avoid the wildfire areas to ensure the safety of firefighters and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations.


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