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UPDATE: Wildfire forces evacuations in Tejon Pass

L.A. County firefighters pressed into action on Kern County fire

Posted: July 19, 2013 3:31 p.m.
Updated: July 19, 2013 5:32 p.m.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A 400-acre fire burning near the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 forced the evacuation of about two dozen homes and threatened to shut down the artery between Los Angeles and California’s Central Valley.

Kern County Fire Department Engineer Anthony Romero says the fire started early Friday afternoon and has grown to 400 acres.

Romero says residents from 23 homes along a mountain road near I-5 were urged to evacuate, but more than half chose to stay and a few houses were vacant.

Two water-dropping helicopters and two firefighting crews from Los Angeles County were pressed into action to help with the Kern County efforts, an L.A. Fire Department spokesman said.

California Highway Patrol officials say one southbound lane of I-5 has been closed for emergency vehicles, and traffic is slowing in the area.

The CHP said the fire may have been caused by a big-rig on the side of the highway.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.





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