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Wildfire near I-5 spurs evacuations

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POSTED July 19, 2013 10:05 p.m.

BAKERSFIELD  (AP) — A 400-acre fire is burning near the Grapevine section of Interstate 5, bringing an evacuation order for about two dozen homes and threatening the shutdown of the heavily-traveled stretch of highway between Los Angeles and California's Central Valley.

Kern County Fire Department Engineer Anthony Romero says the fire started early Friday afternoon and has grown to 400 acres.

Romero says residents from 23 homes along a mountain road near I-5 were urged to evacuate, but more than half chose to stay and a few houses were vacant.

California Highway Patrol officials say one southbound lane of I-5 has been closed for emergency vehicles, and traffic is slowing in the area.

CHP says the fire may have been caused by a big-rig on the side of the highway.


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