Fire Jumps Southern California Highway in Rancho Cucamonga

Fire crews in Southern California are scrambling to contain small fires breaking out in Santa Ana conditions

Southern California firefighters scrambled to contain fire outbreaks before the region's withering, gusty Santa Ana winds can whip them into infernos amid a record-breaking fall heat wave.

Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District and San Bernardino County Fire battled a vegetation fire at the 15/210 freeway sparked by a big rig.

The fire, which started north of the 210, jumped the freeway and was burning toward the south.

The California Highway Patrol closed southbound 15 to westbound 210 and the WB 210 was closed east of the 15 freeway.

Helicopters carried water drops and ground crews worked to establish fire lines to control the fire. 

At 12:15 p.m., Rancho Cucamonga fire officials updated the incident on social media, asking residents to stay away from the area to give firefighters room to work. Fifteen acres had been burned. 

As of 2:30 p.m., the forward rate of progress was stopped. 

The so-called "Freeway Fire" burned 40 acres and was 80 percent contained as of 7 p.m., according to a tweet the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department. All freeway closures were lifted but motorists were advised to use caution in the area.

Los Angeles fire crews jumped on at least three fires Tuesday morning along the northern edge of the city where gusts are whipping through nearby mountains.

About 50 miles to the east, Riverside County firefighters aided by water-dropping helicopters are fighting a fire that erupted in a lumber yard and spread over 5 acres in Jurupa Valley.

Forecasters say conditions are ripe for the second day of triple-digit heat spreading all the way out to the coastline.

After records fell Monday, some areas saw little relief as the Santa Anas kept temperatures in the 80s and 90s overnight.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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