Wildfire overruns packed California freeway, burns cars

Multiple cars torched as a fast-moving brush fire in Southern California crosses a major highway.

CAJON PASS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JULY 17, 2014) (NBC) – A brush fire burning in the Southern California foothills overran a freeway in a mountain pass on Friday (July 17), torching several vehicles as drivers scrambled to safety and traffic ground to a halt on a majory artery between Southern California and Las Vegas.

Television images showed at least three cars, as well as two tractor-trailer rigs, one carrying new vehicles, in flames on the Interstate 15 freeway as fire-fighting aircraft dropped water onto the blaze.

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

Interstate 15 is the main route between Southern California and points east, including Las Vegas.

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.