Wildfire sweeps across California highway

Los Angeles (IANS) A fast-moving wildfire torched at least 20 cars and five houses as it swept across the main highway between Southern California and Las Vegas, the media reported on Saturday.

The fire, swept by desert winds, burned on both sides of Interstate 15 on Friday, the main highway between Southern California and Las Vegas, Fox News reported.

Both north-bound and south-bound I-15 were closed as a result of the fire.

The fire has burnt more than 3,500 acres and was spreading rapidly through the chaparral (shrubland) and grass, said Melody Lardner, a spokeswoman for the US Forest Service.

The cause of the fire is unknown, Lardner said.

It was being fuelled by dry conditions and heavy winds, the LA Times reported.

No casualties were reported.

Dozens of vehicles were abandoned and hundreds of others turned onto side roads to get away from the flames as water-dropping helicopters flew overhead.

The San Bernardino county fire department said that five houses were burning and at least 50 more were in immediate danger.

Some areas were evacuated in the Cajon Pass area, about 55 miles north-east of Los Angeles.

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