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Firefighters make progress, evacuation order lifted in California

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A fire near San Bernardino is considered 60% contained, a forestry official says
  • An evacuation for residents of about 1,500 homes was lifted Saturday, she adds
  • The fire destroyed 2 mobile homes, damaged a house and injured two firefighters
  • It briefly prompted the closure of Interstate 15 between L.A. and Las Vegas

Los Angeles (CNN) -- An evacuation order was lifted Saturday for parts of Southern California that had been besieged by a forest fire, with a forestry official reporting significant progress in bringing the blaze under control.

The fire in Cajon Pass, which had been 0% contained Friday afternoon, was thought to be 60% under control by Saturday afternoon, said San Bernardino National Forest spokeswoman Robin Prince.

The progress led authorities at 2 p.m. Saturday to lift an evacuation order that had been imposed for the residents of about 1,500 homes in the Oak Hills community. Only people with photo identifications, showing that they live in the area, are being allowed back in, Prince said.

About 1,150 acres were burning around that time, with firefighters aided by relatively light winds that weren't overly fanning the flames. Still, temperatures were in the 90s Saturday with wind gusts forecast for up to 20 mph, noted Prince.

At one point Friday, smoke from the blaze forced the closure of Interstate 15, the vital freeway that connects Los Angeles and Las Vegas, officials said.

Two firefighters involved in the effort needed medical treatment, at least one of which was thought to be heat-related.

Prince said the fire destroyed two mobile homes, heavily damaged another house and also caused damage to two smaller structures.

But Capt. Josh Wilkins of the San Bernardino County Fire Department told CNN on Friday that crews were able to prevent even worse destruction.

"We're saving houses," he said.

Wilkins said then that seven helicopters and 14 fixed-wing aircraft have been called in to help 750 firefighters on the ground.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

CNN's Greg Morrison and Phil Gast contributed to this report.