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Firefighters Make Headway on Charlie Fire in Castaic

September 24, 2018 - 7:45 am
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(KNX 1070/CNS) - Firefighters hope to surround more of the Charlie Fire today in Castaic.

New figures show it's now 30 percent contained, thanks in large part to the water-dropping helicopters and Super Scooper air-tankers that have been pressed into service. The fire has burned almost 3,400 acres since it started Saturday.

According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department PIO Twitter account, the evacuation orders remain in effect for San Francisquito Canyon from LA County Fire Department Camp 14 to Low Ridge Place. The evacuation center is at the Castaic sports complex.

Evacuations are in effect for a couple of dozen homes.

One resident who's staying put is a retired private company fire chief. He told CBS-2 while he's ready to fight the flames, he says most people don't have his expertise.

The Charlie Fire north of Castaic grew to 3,380 acres of charred brush overnight, as 20 to 30 homes along San Francisquito Canyon Road remained evacuated Sunday.

At sunrise, Cal Fire officials said it remained at 10 percent contained.

Firefighters made progress fighting the blaze overnight, as temperatures dropped and humidity rose.

The fire broke out on Charlie Canyon Road at 2:40 p.m. Saturday, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron.

The fire had scorched a few acres at the top of a ridge but was spreading, as the first firefighters arrived at 2:44 p.m. Saturday, Marron said.

They quickly called for a third-alarm response of 120 firefighters, aided by three water-dropping helicopters and two Super Scooper tank airplanes, he said.

The fire was burning in rough chaparral and scattered trees, east of Lake Castaic and north of Santa Clarita. On Sunday, it shot up a huge pyrocumulus cloud visible from as far away as LAX, as the fire generated smoke and heat that condensed into a white cloud above the blaze.

Lake Hughes Road remained closed from the Ridge Route at Castaic, east to Dry Gulch Road. Francisquito Canyon Road remained closed between Low Ridge Place, near Saugus, to L.A. Fire Camp 14, near Green Valley.

At one point, about 100 homes were threatened and 20 to 30 homes along Francisquito Canyon Road were ordered evacuated.

The Castaic Sports Complex, 31230 Castaic Road, was designated as the evacuation center.

No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported, officials said.

No overall estimate of the number of firefighters was immediately available, but the City of Los Angeles had sent a strike team of 22 L.A. city firefighters was on scene along with a helicopter, spokesman Brian Humphrey said.