Traffic back up on I-15 behind the fast-moving North Fire. Courtesy San Bernardino County Fire Department

A fast-moving brush fire overran Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass on Friday, destroying four structures and torching 20 vehicles as drivers abandoned their cars and scrambled to safety.

The wildfire, which broke out Friday afternoon in the drought-parched foothills of San Bernardino County, had grown from 500 acres to 3,500 acres in a matter of hours, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said 1,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is about 5 percent contained.

The blaze temporarily closed a portion of the Interstate 15 freeway that links Southern California and Las Vegas, forcing about 60 drivers to flee their cars on the Cajon Pass.

There have been no injuries, the Forest Service said.

Television images showed fire-fighting aircraft dropping water onto burning vehicles. Several cars and two tractor-trailer rigs, one carrying new vehicles, were in flames.

Twenty vehicles were destroyed and 10 were damaged, the Forest Service said.

Four structures have been gutted by flames and several mountain communities were facing evacuations as crews battle to contain the blaze.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.