HEADLINES

Rye fire near Santa Clarita has burned at least 7,000 acres, is 10 percent contained

Posted on: 12/07/2017 00:00

(dailynews.com) More than a dozen people waited anxiously inside their vehicles Wednesday to reenter Valencia Travel Village RV park a day after the Rye Fire began its path through brush near Santa Clarita as it cascaded westward toward Ventura County.

Some of the evacuees passed the time reading books, listening to the radio or searching their cell phones for updates about the blaze that has consumed at least 7,000 acres and was 10 percent contained by 8 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters were particularly concerned about the fire’s westward movement toward the border between L.A. and Ventura counties.

Brian Deveney, who has lived at Valencia Travel Village for 7 1/2 years, had been in his car overnight with his 10-year-old Manchester Terrier named Roxi.

When he was forced to evacuate around 11 a.m. Tuesday flames were less than 100 yards away from his RV.

Deveney loaded up his car and drove to Korea Town to stay with his girlfriend. However, parking wasn’t available at her apartment so he drove back to Santa Clarita and spent the next few hours to trying to sleep in his car on a hill on Franklin Parkway.

“It was cold,” Deveney said.

Jack Shields was unable to gather any of his belongings from his RV at Valencia Travel Village.

Shields traveled with his wife Cynthia, from the Phoneix area about two weeks ago to the RV park so she could undergo surgery Tuesday at Holy Cross Hospital in San Fernando.

Shields tried to return to his RV after his wife’s operation but couldn’t due to the fire. The combination of the surgery and fire has been stressful, he added.

“It’s a little bizarre,” he said. “I didn’t plan it this way. Mother Nature has a way of deciding how to do things.”

The brush fire was first reported around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at 25101 Rye Canyon Loop and cascaded into a major fire.

Upon arrival, firefighters initially found 5 acres burning in light to medium brush, fueled by 15-mph winds from the northeast.

More than 200 firefighters responded to attack the blaze and protect structures.

In an early update Wednesday on the city of Santa Clarita’s website, officials said there was “no current active fire in the City, but the fire threat remains high as strong winds are expected to continue through Friday.”

About 2,000 people remained evacuated Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire.  There were no immediate reports of injuries

There was still one power outage affecting the city.

Power was back on at the Newhall Community Center, which was open for business, according to the city.

The Rye Fire damaged one outbuilding. There were 775 firefighters battling the blaze.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist California in combating the fire.

 


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