Environment & Science

Temecula Fire burns near I-15 Freeway, creates major traffic jam

The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
Courtesy Johnny in Temecula
The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
The Temecula Fire snarled traffic in the area on June 4, 2016.
CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department
The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
The Temecula Fire burning near Highway 15 in Riverside County on June4, 2016.
CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department
The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
June 4, 2016: A helicopter drops water on the Temecula Fire.
Photograph by @calfireru via Twitter
The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
June 4, 2016: The Temecula Fire burns near the 15 freeway.
Photograph by @calfireru via Twitter
The Temecula Fire was burning near I-15 off the Temecula Freeway on June 4, 2016.
June 4, 2016: The Temecula Fire burns near the 15 freeway.
Photograph by @calfireru via Twitter


Update Sun. June 5, 10:11 a.m.: Containment increases

The fire grew overnight from 70 to 139 acres but is now 30 percent contained. No structures have been threatened. One firefighter sustained a non life threatening injury and was transported to an area hospital. The number 4 lane on southbound I-15 remains closed and could be closed through Monday. Check the CHP website for the latest updates.

Update Sat. June 4, 4:26 p.m.: Lanes reopened

The number 1 and 2 lanes on the southbound I-15 and the number 4 lane on the northbound I-15 have been reopened, Michelle Profant, a public information officer with CalTrans tells KPCC. Crews are still moving fire equipment off the roadway.

Update Sat. June 5, 4:09 p.m.: Freeway gridlocked as fire burns along I-15

Riverside County Firefighters are on the scene of a fast-burning brush fire near the southbound 15 Freeway in Temecula. 

fire tracker

The fire ignited some time on Saturday morning and was reported south of Temecula Parkway about 11:40 a.m., Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Jennifer Fuhrman tells KPCC. 

Fuhrman says about 200 personnel are on the ground and two helicopters are in the air fighting the blaze.

fire vid

Fuhrman also says traffic on the 15 Freeway is gridlocked. That's probably because the southbound I-15 is closed as is the northbound number 4 lane, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. Check CHP's site for the latest details on road closures

A view of the Temecula Fire taken near the Border Patrol Check Point on Saturday, June 4, 2016.
A view of the Temecula Fire taken near the Border Patrol Check Point on Saturday, June 4, 2016.
Photograph by Dave Stolte

Twitter user @Andrew_Durso, who was in stopped traffic about a mile from the Rainbow Valley Blvd. exit, posted this video of a helicopter dropping either water or fire retardant on the flames while another  helicopter waits on an empty stretch of highway.

andrew durso video twitter

On Friday, crews had mostly contained the Pala Fire, which burned 70 acres south of Temecula in San Diego County near the Riverside County line, reports NBC San Diego.

Instagram: Temecula Fire