Santa Clarita Valley brush fire burns multiple structures and threatens neighborhoods

A brush fire that broke out Thursday afternoon in the Santa Clarita area has burned multiple structures and is threatening neighborhoods.

Firefighters were desperately trying to stall the wind-driven fire as it rapidly moved toward subdivisions in Agua Dulce. Authorities have requested more air support as the fire moved down from the hills.

“There is an immediate need for structure protection,” Los Angeles County fire officials said.

Multiple lines of fire were making runs at neighborhoods, racing through open space and to the backyards of homes. Some residents could be seen using garden hoses to try to prevent the fire from getting into their homes. But in some cases, the flames were too big and the homes went ablaze.

The fire was moving downhill, parallel to the 14 Freeway and Sierra Highway into Mint Canyon, Canyon Country and Agua Dulce.

Santa Clarita fire

The fire was reported shortly before 1:45 p.m. along Tick Canyon Road and quickly grew to more than 850 acres, said Marvin Lim, a spokesman for the L.A. County Fire Department. By about 2:20 p.m., firefighters had called a third alarm because the blaze was threatening homes, he said.

Evacuations were being ordered from East of Sierra Highway all the way to Soledad Canyon Road after the fire jumped Sand Canyon Road.

Weather conditions near the fire were helping to foster its growth with a combination of warm temperatures, humidity hovering around 6% and wind gusts of up to 29 mph, said Keily Delerme, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The warmth, in particular, was causing the blaze to send up a large plume of smoke, she said.

“That’s why the plume looks so impressive, because it’s very warm near the fire,” she said.

Forecasters expected the winds to pick up through the evening and overnight, with gusts between 40 and 60 mph in the area of the blaze.

Temperatures were also expected to be a little bit warmer on Friday, and humidity was expected to stay low.

“We’re not going to see that much humidity recovery overnight, which is what normally happens,” Delerme said.

The National Weather Service had issued a red-flag warning for the area that was in effect through Friday evening. The weather conditions were expected to peak overnight Thursday and continue through Friday.

The fire came on a day of dry, hot, windy weather across California. Fires also hit San Bernardino, Orange County and Eagle Rock.

In Northern California, the entire town of Geyserville and vineyards across Northern California wine country were forced to evacuate as a monster fire, pushed by wind gusts topping 70 mph, burned out of control in a rural section of Sonoma County.

Some Geyserville residents evacuated in the darkness after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. shut power off to areas in Sonoma County and the Kincade fire crossed Highway 128, moving west toward homes in the town of 929 people.

More than 10,000 acres burned there.

-Points taken from LA Times

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