Drivers leave cars, run for their lives, as wildfire swallows up California highway

[sharenow]

Photos and video tell the story of a terrifying scene that unfolded as a wildfire swept across a highway that connects Southern California and Las Vegas.

Drivers abandoned their vehicles and fled for safety as the flames engulfed a section of Interstate 15 and destroyed about 3,500 acres Friday, CNN reported.

Highway Fire
Photo credit KTLA.

The blaze was another in a series of wildfires in what has become a particularly bad season because of the state’s drought, which provides plenty of dry brush for fires to feed on.

Highway Fire+
Photo credit KTLA.

Terrified people ran for their lives, leaving their cars and belongings behind as a sky high wall of flames approached. According to CNN:

Highway Fire
Photo credit KTLA.

A firefighter on the interstate sprayed cars with a hose.

“They said they tried to save my car, which I really appreciate,” said Vicki Beglari, who returned to her car to find it unscathed. Flames had singed the 18-wheeler standing next to it.

As she had watched the wall of fire come hissing up earlier, she realized it wouldn’t stop for I-15. “It jumped the lane, and so they had to stop the freeway,” she said. Motorists exited their vehicles in near unison and headed away from the flames.

“Oh, I was terrified,” she said.

From a safe spot, she looked back and was impressed how quickly the wildfire raged up a mountain after it crossed the interstate.

Flames intruded into nearby communities, burning five homes and threatening 50 more, San Bernardino County Fire said.

In the town of Phelan, dozens of fire trucks pulled up as homeowners with garden hoses cast eerie silhouettes against the dark smoke. They watered down their roofs and trees, anxious that the flames might arrive soon.

Highway Fire
Photo credit KTLA.
Highway Fire
Photo credit KTLA.

Only two minor injuries were reported despite all the madness.

Highway Fire
Photo credit KTLA.
Highway Fire
Photo credit KTLA.

As of early Saturday, the fire was deemed to be 5 percent contained.

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[sharenow]
Carmine Sabia

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