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Sierra fire in Cajon Pass grows to 200 acres; air attack underway

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Firefighters battling the Sierra fire in the Cajon Pass were making repeated aerial assaults along the fire flanks and had set up defensive positions to stop flames from overrunning about two dozen mobile homes, officials said Tuesday evening.

The blaze broke out shortly before 4 p.m. and quickly spread to about 200 acres as flames burned west of the 15 Freeway near Glen Helen Road, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Firefighters were dispatched to protect 20 to 30 mobile homes threatened by flames on Glen Helen Road between the 15 Freeway and Swarthout Canyon Road. Mandatory evacuations had been ordered for the area, officials said

In the air, water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing tankers with fire retardant were attacking flames as they burned across dry chaparral, according to the Forest Service. The aircraft included a DC-10 jet loaded with thousands of gallons of retardant.

"Aircraft are making good progress," Forest Service spokesman John Miller told The Times. 

Fire officials said the temperature was about 85 degrees when the blaze broke out and that south winds were gusting at 18 mph.

An evacuation center was opened at the  Jessie Turner Center  at 15556 Summit Ave. in Fontana. Small animals could be taken to the Devore Animal Center at 19777 Shelter Way  in San Bernardino.

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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