LEBEC -- A brush fire north of Los Angeles threatened canyon homes on Tuesday near the Grapevine area of Interstate 5.
The 350-acre fire began along the side of the freeway at about 8:30 a.m. and quickly ran up a brushy ridge, forcing the evacuation of about 15 homes in an area of unincorporated Lebec called Digier Canyon, Kern County fire spokesman Corey Wilford said.
The fire about 55 miles northwest of Los Angeles burned quickly through light brush and scrub oak along "every little canyon it can," he said.
"It was staying a step ahead of the firefighters as it progressed up the hill," he said.
A southbound truck lane of the major route was closed but traffic was light and moving smoothly.
About 250 firefighters and nine aircraft fought the blaze.
Meanwhile, two days of thunderstorms were helping crews trying to tame a 9-day-old wildfire in the mountains above Palm Springs.
The fire that blackened about 43 square miles of the San Jacinto Mountains was 85 percent contained and it was only smoldering.
Storms dumped up to 2 inches of rain in some places, and forecasters expected another half-inch to fall. However, the chance of a storm later in the day also brought the possibility of lightning and mudslides, authorities said.
Another concern was that burnt, dead trees could come lose and roll down on some of the nearly 1,200 firefighters mopping up and completing some 10 miles of fire lines on high ridges of the rugged mountains, fire officials said.
At its peak, the fire burned seven homes and forced 6,000 people to evacuate. Authorities say it was human-caused.