Last Wednesday a brush fire broke out on the southbound side of the interstate 15 freeway causing both sides of Cajon Pass to be completely closed down for the majority of the afternoon.
The fire broke out sometime around 11:00 a.m. and quickly burned through about 50 acres between the freeway and Cajon Blvd.
In the wake of the heavy fire season that California has already experienced, this brush fire was not taken lightly. Fire teams responded quickly and forcefully.
“I saw the smoke and thought maybe a car caught on fire or something since it wasn’t too big,” CSUSB alumni Gloria Roberts said. “Then right above my car a giant plane shot out and dropped a wave of red stuff! That’s when I figured it must be serious.”
Firefighters from various agencies worked together to battle the blaze while CalTrans and the CHP worked to manage the traffic.
“They had the southbound down to one lane and then redirected us back up the Cajon Pass from the Kenbrooke off-ramp,” junior Lisa Ramirez said. “I sat in traffic for at least four hours and never made it to campus.”
Many CSUSB students who come from the cities in the High Desert had no way to get to their classes on time, if at all, and many others were also blocked from getting home.
“It’s always something going wrong in The Pass,” Roberts said. “In the summer, it’s fires. In the winter, it’s snow, rain, and ice. Year-round, there is heavy fog. It’s dangerous.”
Through the night the firefighters worked to achieve 100 percent containment of the fire.
Though there are rumors that a semi truck with overheated brakes may have sparked the fire, the cause of the blaze is still unknown.