Published: Sun, September 03, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Thousands of acres burn in Los Angeles-area fire

Thousands of acres burn in Los Angeles-area fire

The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in Burbank late Friday as a raging brush fire threatens their homes.

About 300 acres have charred, and more than 400 firefighters from the Glendale and Los Angeles areas have been called in. As of noon Saturday, the blaze had spread across 5,000 acres and was 10 percent contained, according to the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Approximately 50 homes were threatened as the blaze turned toward residential areas in Burbank late Friday night, prompting mandatory evacuations.

Glendale officials urged evacuees with pets to bring them to the Crescenta Valley High School center, where officials with the Pasadena Humane Society are set up.

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A wind shift at around 2 p.m. caused embers to blow across I-210, igniting dry brush that resulted in another fire.

Federal officials say one of the worst wildfire seasons in the likely to continue scorching western states and blanket large swaths with smoke until cooler weather patterns with rain or snow arrive later in the fall. However, fluctuating winds had diminished the threat to both neighborhoods, fire officials said.

"The biggest factor is weather and the wind", said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Ralph Terrazas during a news conference at the department's command post in the parking lot of the Hanson Dam at Osborne Street and Foothill Boulevard.

As of noon on Saturday, between 500 to 1,000 residents living in 700 homes have been evacuated from areas affected by the fire.

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The California Highway Patrol also closed all lanes of the northbound and southbound 5 freeway at Lake Hughes Road. The CHP had no estimate on when that closure would be lifted.

Additional closures were reported in the city of Burbank with Country Club Drive at Sunset Canyon closed to traffic as well as Walnut Avenue and Harvard Road at Sunset.

Firefighters worked to surround the blaze as multiple choppers performed water drops "to take the heat out of the head of the fire", Scott said.

"The La Tuna Fire is burning in 4 different directions to include down over the hills towards Burbank as well as north through the canyons above the 210 freeway".

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About 450 firefighters were battling the blaze that has burned hundreds of acres with the potential to burn up to 2,000 acres. "It switched multiple times", said Terrazas, adding that there have been no firefighter injuries. He attributed the success to strong working partnerships and coordination with neighboring fire agencies.

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