Update: California’s Fast Moving Wildfire Threatening 25,000 Homes
As of Saturday afternoon the fast-moving Sand Fire in Santa Clarita California has burned 20,000 acres and is not contained.
A raging wildfire grew to more than 30 square miles east of Santa Clarita Saturday, prompting an expanded evacuation order affecting some 1,500 homes and spreading smoke and ash across much of Southern California.
Now more than 25,000 homes are threatened in the north end of the San Fernando Valley.
The brush fire prompted the South Coast Air Quality Management District to issue a smoke advisory for a number of areas where air quality could reach unhealthy levels, including central Los Angeles, parts of the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, and in the Pomona/Walnut area.
Smoke was headed in a southeast direction, while ash was raining down in portions of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, and in central Los Angeles.
Residents seeking info on the Sand Fire can call the information hotline at 626-574-5208.
About 300 firefighters are battling the fire that broke out around 2;00p Friday. At least 1 firefighter suffered a minor injury and 1 structure was destroyed in the fire.
Approximately 200-300 homes in the Little Tujunga area are under mandatory evacuation order, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Evacuation sites have been set up at the Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center located at 11075 Foothill Boulevard in Lakeview Terrace and at Golden Valley High School located at 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway in Santa Clarita.
A separate evacuation site for animals has been established at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center located at 11127 Orca Ave in Sylmar, California.
Saturday, officials said the wind is expected to shift in the afternoon from a Northwest to a Southwest direction, which may threaten the community of Sand Canyon. Residents in the area should be prepared to evacuate if they are directed to do so by authorities. Residents of Sand Canyon and Canyon Country are on standby in case the wildfire shifts.
Ash from the fire is falling throughout the Los Angeles Basin,
Firefighters battle the blaze as temperatures in the area are expected to reach a high of 105F Saturday. An excessive heat warning and a Red Flag warning are now in effect. The intense heat conditions combined with low humidity and the rugged terrain is complicating the firefighting effort.
Being in the 5th year of a drought, there is dry vegetation in the area that has not burned in 5 years.
“When we talk about extreme fire behavior,” Carol Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service told the Los Angeles Times, “this is what we mean.”
The Los Angeles Fire Department sent a water-dropping helicopter to join 4 from the county fire department, 8 fixed-wing firefighting aircraft were also called in to attack the raging wildfire.
Cal Fire and the US Forest Service were also assisting in the firefight.
When traveling in fire zones take extreme care, lives and property depend on it