Fire slows I-5 traffic at Castaic, north of LA

CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) A 25-acre wildfire started by a burning vehicle north of Los Angeles slowed northbound traffic on Interstate 5 to a crawl Monday and threatened a mobile home park, as hot weather and tinder-dry vegetation kept fire crews busy.

The blaze started in Castaic shortly after 3:30 p.m. and quickly moved into the brush along the freeway, said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Anthony Akins.

Three northbound lanes of I-5 were shut down, reducing traffic to a near-standstill on the major freeway about 40 miles north of Los Angeles, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A mobile home park was also threatened, Akins said, although he had no further details.

Soaring temperatures throughout the region, combined with scarce rainfall, combined to create high fire danger.

Elsewhere in Southern California, firefighters were getting a handle on a 75-acre wildfire north of Fontana, in San Bernardino County, that downed some power lines.

The fire was 20 percent contained late Monday afternoon, as temperatures reached near 100 degrees. Full containment was expected Tuesday.

No structures were threatened and there were no injuries.

Even though the area had recent rain, the heat that followed dried the vegetation again and created a fire hazard, said Daniel Berlant of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"Hopefully, we don't let the rain fool anybody," he said. "Fire season is still here."

About 20 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, a brush fire near Barona Resort and Casino had consumed about 15 acres in 90-degree heat, state fire spokesman Ed Schuler said. No structures were immediately threatened.

The CHP said the fire had led authorities to close several small roads.