Jennings Fire: Crews continue to make progress; fire has burned 400 acres and is 60% contained

Posted at 5:40 AM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 01:48:54-04

Firefighters are continuing to battle a brush fire that forced evacuations in the Flinn Springs area, prompted the closure of Interstate 8 in the area and threatened some homes.

The Jennings Fire erupted just before 2 p.m. Tuesday near Olde Highway 80, prompting the California Highway Patrol to temporarily shut down I-8 in both directions between Lake Jennings Park Road in Lakeside and Tavern Road in Alpine.

Cal Fire officials said they believe the fire was sparked by carbon particles from a passing vehicle's exhaust.

As the fire approached homes, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for residents on View Side Lane in Alpine while an evacuation warning was sent to Flinn Springs residents near Flinn Springs Road and Old Highway 80.

Crews were able to stop the fire's forward rate of spread just before 5 p.m., and as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, Cal Fire said the blaze has charred 400 acres and is 60 percent contained.

Officials confirmed three firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze -- two with moderate injuries and one with minor injuries.

All evacuation orders have been lifted and all affected roads have been reopened. However, one eastbound I-8 lane between Lake Jennings and Dunbar remains closed.

No injuries or structure damage were reported.