Santa Clarita/Newhall fire up to 175 acres, 30 percent contained — evacuation orders lifted

Posted on: 06/10/2018 00:00

(dailynews.com) More than 200 firefighters on Saturday battled a 175-acre blaze off the 5 Freeway in parts of Santa Clarita and Newhall that had threatened nearby structures and forced some residents to evacuate their homes, authorities said.

The brush fire, called the South Fire, was reported about 2:44 p.m. just south and east of Calgrove Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol traffic log. The CHP had issued a SigAlert at 4:19 p.m., advising the No. 3 and No. 4 northbound lanes were blocked because of the fire. The SigAlert was canceled at 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department around 8 p.m. reported that the blaze was 30 percent contained. One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and was transported to a hospital.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said mandatory evacuation orders issued earlier in the day for some streets in the Santa Clarita and Newhall areas were lifted at 8 p.m. with residents allowed return to their homes.

The fire was contained by lines of cleared vegetation and checked to the extent that evacuated residents were allowed to return home, sheriff’s officials said. Those residents were required to show ID to prove they belong in the area.

Firefighters were expected to remain in the area overnight mopping up hot spots and building more containment lines, officials said.

Evacuation centers had been established at College of the Canyon Physical Education Center at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Santa Clarita and at Hilton Garden Inn at 27710 The Old Road in Valencia.

Supervising fire dispatcher Cheryl Sims said there were more than 200 firefighters on scene with aircraft and at least eight hand crews helping to battle the fire.

A Los Angeles City Fire Department strike team was also called to help, she said.

The fire at one point was threatening 200 structures.

Firefighters responding to the blaze immediately called a second alarm due to a need for structure protection in South Canyon. Water-dropping helicopters began assisting firefighters on the ground, and fixed-wing aircraft were requested.

A third alarm was requested about 3:45 p.m. to immediately get more units for structure protection in the La Salle Canyon area.

Traffic on the northbound 5 for a time backed up in the Newhall Pass, as drivers opted for the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and then surface streets to get around the fire area.

Even as crews worked on the South Fire, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said another brush fire broke out on Lake Hughes Road in the Castaic Lake area Saturday night. That fire, reported at about 5 acres, didn’t threaten any structures and crews were sent to fight it from the county and the Angeles National Forest.

There was no immediate word on the cause of either fire.


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