Los Angeles, October 11: A rapidly moving brush fire powered by strong winds, low humidity, and dry condition on Friday made a destructive march in the northern foothills of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. Till now, the massive blaze has burned several houses, led to a shutdown of two freeways and forced thousands of people to flee. According to reports, the fire has charred more than 1,600 acres by now. Over 6 Lakh Californians Without Power as Fire Risk Spreads South Towards Los Angeles.
The brush fire, which erupted in a restricted one-acre area in Sylmar, on Thursday is rapidly spreading toward Porter Ranch and other communities. The 96 km per hour winds have pushed the fire to spread over five freeways and shutting them down.
The #SaddleridgeFire which started in Sylmar has now jumped the 5 freeway per @LAFD. Additional mandatory evacuation orders for the area of Balboa to Tampa north of Sesnon. The 210 freeway between the 5 & 118 has been shutdown per @CHPsouthern. Take this fire seriously! pic.twitter.com/bQT7imoQ9O
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) October 11, 2019
Mandatory evacuations were issued for the Oakridge Estates community- an area covering over 10,000 residents. So far, there are no injuries, the LA Times reported. More than 250 firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department were assigned to douse the blaze. Residents living in Tampa Avenue and the Ventura County line are also placed under mandatory evacuation.
An evacuation centre for people and pets has been set up at the Sylmar Recreation Center. Similarly, evacuation centre for large animals has been set up at the Hansen Dam.
According to the recent tweet by LAFD, "The Granada Hills Rec Center is now FULL and not able to accept any more residents. A new evacuation centre is open at Mason Park."
— LAFD (@LAFD) October 11, 2019
LA fire officials are carrying out aerial water drop to bring the fire under control. The LA Department of Water and Power also announced that the power flow along the major transmission lines has been shut to help firefighting operations, the LA Times reported.