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HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters are gaining the upper hand on a wildfire that erupted in the middle of a Southern California highway yesterday.

The blaze began on the center divider of Interstate 15, the main route between Southern California and Las Vegas. It quickly grew to nearly 2 square miles, jumping the freeway and burning chapparal in the hills of the San Bernadino National Forest.

Authorities ordered the evacuation of 1,500 nearby homes, but about half of those orders have been lifted as fire crews make progress. Nearly 750 firefighters are on the scene. The U.S. Forest Service says they’ve surrounded about 30 percent of the fire and there are no longer any open flames. Interstate 15 has been reopened.

The fire destroyed two mobile homes and damaged two other structures. A firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and another suffered a medical-related injury.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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