FIRE INFO: School Closures, Evac Centers, and Freeways Impacted

KNX 1070
October 11, 2019 - 2:33 pm
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A wind-driven brush fire from Sylmar to Porter Ranch that exploded in size overnight has caused more than 100,000 people to be evacuated and two people are confirmed dead

The blaze was reported just after 9 p.m. Thursday off the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway near Yarnell Street and Saddle Ridge Road in Sylmar and quickly spread due to wind-blown embers that jumped the Golden State (5) Freeway about 11:20 p.m., spreading the flames into Granada Hills and Porter Ranch, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Fire authorities ask residents to text "Ready" to 888-777 for the most updated evacuation information. 

The fire is still burning out of control with houses burned, and residents forced out. Several freeways and schools are closed. 

Click here to se the latest evacuation map

Saddleridge Fire:

This fire has scorched more than 4,700 acres with 0% containment. 

So far, one person, a man in his 50s has died trying to protect his home and one firefighter suffered minor injuries. 

About 23,000 homes, equating to about 100,000 people have been evacuated. 

The massive fire prompted a mandatory evacuation order for all residents of Porter Ranch north of the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway from Reseda Boulevard to DeSoto Avenue, Stewart said. Residents of Granada Hills from Balboa Boulevard and north of Sesnon Boulevard to the Ventura County border were under a mandatory evacuation order. An evacuation warning was issued for all areas south of Sesnon Boulevard to the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway.

If you're considering driving between southern and northern California -- beware. 

NB 5 is closed. Lots of power lines. Flames came right up to the freeway. 

Reporter Claudia Peschiutta tweeted this vidieo of active flames just off SB 5 at Balboa.

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power reported overnight that about 2,500 customers had lost power in the Granada Hills and Sylmar areas. The utility noted that much of the power to Porter Ranch is provided through underground lines, but there had been damage to two overhead circuits and 16 power poles. As of about 8 a.m., DWP reported that 870 customers were without power.

Evacuation centers were established at the Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave.; the Mason Recreation Center, 10500 Mason Ave. in Chatsworth; and the Granada Hills Recreation Center, 16730 Chatsworth St. As of Friday morning, the Mason and Granada Hills shelters had already reached capacity, and the Sylmar center was nearing capacity.

That prompted authorities to open a fourth evacuation center at Northridge Recreation Center, 18300 Lemarsh St.

WHERE TO TAKE ANIMALS:

Large animals can be taken to the Hansen Dam Recreation Area at 11770 Foothill Blvd. in Lake View Terrace or the West Valley Animal Shelter at 20655 Plummer St. in Chatsworth, Stewart said.

The Fairplex Pomona has room for up to 200 horses. Bring them anytime, just call first 909-865-4600. You will need to supply your own feed. Enter through Gate One, off White Avenue. 

For birds, residents can take them to Canoga Discount Birds. 

EVACUATION CENTERS:

Mason Recreation Center, 10500 Mason Ave. in Chatsworth

Granada Hills Recreation Center, 16730 Chatsworth

Northridge Recreation Center, 18300 Lemarsh St.

Lanark Recreation Center, 21816 Lanark Street om Canoga Park

Van Nuys Recreation Center, 14301 Vanowen Ave. 

Balboa Recreation Center, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Encino. 

The shelter at the Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave., is currently filled to capacity. 

SCHOOL CLOSURES:
Schools across the northern San Fernando Valley were shuttered today due to the Saddleridge Fire.
The Los Angeles Unified School District announced a host of closures, including: 

FREEWAY UPDATES:

The southbound Golden State (5) Freeway, which had been shut down between the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway and Calgrove Boulevard due to the Saddleridge Fire, has been reopened, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Current freeway closures due to the Saddleridge Fire are as follows, according to the CHP:
   -- the Foothill (210) Freeway between the Ronald Reagan (118) and Golden State (5) freeways;
   -- the 5 Freeway from Calgrove to the 118 Freeway; and
   -- the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway from Newhall Avenue to the 5 Freeway.

Calimesa Fire:

Thursday night fires spread to the Villa Climesa Mobile Home Park and destroyed at least five residences, but by later in the afternoon at least two dozen mobile homes were consumed. 

As of Friday, one person has died and 74 structures have been destroyed.. According to the fire officials, the fire has burned 500 acres, and it remains at 10% contained. 

The fire has completely destroyed at least 74 structures. Evacuees remain at Mesa Grande Academy and animals are at the San Jacinto Animal Campus. 

Authorities expect resources to be increased Friday in efforts to keep the fire under control. 

An evacuation center was established at the Calimesa Senior Center, at 908 Park Ave., according to the city.

Six Cal Fire air tankers and several water-dropping helicopters were are attacking the brusher, which has expanded into San Bernardino County. 

Crews from the San Bernardino County and Redlands fire departments joined Riverside County under a unified command. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The blaze was initially reported at around 2 p.m., Thursday at Sandalwood Drive and Seventh Street, near the I-10 exit ramp, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The Reche Fire:

A wind-driven fire just north of Moreno Valley that blackened about 350 acres was 40% contained this morning and its progress stopped without any reported injuries or damaged structures, authorities said.

The blaze was reported at 12:55 p.m. Thursday on Reche Canyon Road, near Reche Vista Drive, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Fire officials said the blaze started with a trailer fire and jumped into the ounding vegetation, propelled by intense northeast winds.

The flame front pushed west into rugged terrain, leading to mandatory evacuations on Reche Vista north of Country Road, as well as on Covey Road at Perris Boulevard, and Reche Canyon east of Reche Vista and west of Locust Avenue. Evacuation orders were lifted at 9 p.m. yesterday and Reche Canyon Drive from Reche Vista to Locust Drive was open only to residents to come in and out, the department said.

"Please be cautious returning to your homes as fire resources continue working in the area," the RCFD said.

Sixteen engine crews and a truck company, along with two hand crews -- totaling nearly 100 personnel -- deployed in response to the wildfire, aided by two Cal Fire air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter, according to the fire department.

Wolf Fire:

The fire remains at 75 acres and 25% contained. All evacuation WARNINGS remain in place. Unless significant incident activity occurs, the next update will be this evening.

This fire is located about four miles south of Banning. 

At least 140 firefighters from Riverside County, the Bureau of Land Management and San Bernardino National Forest and four air tankers worked to contain the fire.

Witnesses reported several men target shooting in the area at the time and racing away in a dark-colored pickup truck when the flames started, officials said.

In Ventura County there's a list of fires:

Wendy Fire: This fire includes 91 acres and is 25% contained.

Olivas Fire: Firefighters are making progress establishing control lines and utilizing aircraft. Evacuations lifted. Roads remain closed. Fire at 155 acres and 50% containment. No structures/infrastructure threatened. Heavy vegetation remains a challenge.

Middle Fire: includes .3 acres and is 100% contained. 

City News Service contributed to this story.