Mandatory evacuations and road closures were ordered Tuesday afternoon as a 100-acre fire erupted in San Bernardino, fanned by "erratic winds."
At least two people suffered critical burn injuries and were taken to a local trauma center, according to Eric Sherwin, spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Approximately 200 firefighters were battling the blaze, but no injuries were reported.
Damage was reported to several garages, but fire officials said they were able to save several hundred homes and business in and around Little Mountain and the 215 Freeway.
The evacuations were put into place as the Little Mountain fire burned. The fire erupted shortly after 12:30 p.m. behind a McDonald's just off the 215 Freeway at University Parkway.
Evacuations were ordered for several areas, but homeowners were allowed to return to their homes Tuesday around 7 p.m.
Marshall Elementary at 3288 North G St. served as a Red Cross evacuation center while evacuations were in place.
The 215 Freeway was closed northbound at the 210 Freeway. The southbound 15 was closed at the 15/215 interchange. The eastbound 210 Freeway to the north 215 connector was closed. The westbound 210 Freeway to the north 215 connecter was closed. The north 15 to the south 215 connecter was also closed, according to Caltrans.
The San Bernardino Police Department was on patrol in the evacuated areas due to concerns about looting.
The police department also dispatched animal control officers to the fire to rescue animals who might be wandering in the area.
One officer found a little black dog running loose near the fire. He's now waiting at the animal shelter in San Bernardino for his owners to claim him.
Strong Santa Ana winds were expected through Friday, causing concern for firefighters as they struggled to contain the fire.