Dramatic Video shows LA firefighters battling Saddleridge fire
A fast-moving brushfire has swept through LA’s San Fernando Valley, traveling some 7,500 acres and threatening thousands of homes in the area. Remarkable footage shows firefighters keeping the blaze at bay.
Starting late on Thursday evening, the conflagration has already consumed an estimated 31 structures in Los Angeles, where over 100,000 residents have fled their homes, some in response to mandatory evacuation orders. The blaze is 13 percent contained, according to the LA Fire Department.
California wildfires threaten homes in Los Angeles
A wildfire fueled by Santa Ana winds has closed two freeways, is threatening homes and has forced evacuations around Los Angeles.
Fire officials say the Saddleridge fire had consumed more than 4,600 acres by Friday morning.
It broke out after 9 p.m. Thursday along the 210 Freeway and jumped the highway. Flames also crossed the 5 Freeway. The highways were closed because of heavy smoke. Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods.
Several homes were seen burning in Granada Hills, and the LA fire department said an “unknown number” of homes were potentially threatened.There were no reports of injuries.
The blaze comes as hot, dry winds are raising concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires. Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs Friday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.
Southern California Edison turned off electricity to about 20,000 people but warned that thousands more could lose service as Santa Ana winds gained strength.
Meanwhile Winds gusted dangerously as forecast in Northern California before weather conditions eased and the lights started to come back on. Planned blackouts affected millions and Pacific Gas & Electric faced hostility and second-guessing for its widespread shutoffs.
Over 500,000 PG&E customers were still waiting for power to come back on as of Thursday night
Fast-moving Los Angeles fire destroys homes, forces 100,000 to evacuate
The wind-driven blaze sweeping through Los Angeles County’s San Fernando Valley remained mostly uncontained Friday evening, after charring at least 31 buildings and prompting mandatory evacuation orders for more than 100,000 people as California hits peak wildfire season.
At least one person is dead and one injured in connection with the fast-moving threat, which exploded from 1,600 acres just after 2 a.m. Friday to more than 4,600 acres less than two hours later. By the afternoon, it spanned 7,500 acres. The disaster was fueled by the same dry, windy conditions that led a northern California power provider to shut off electricity to nearly 1 million people this week over fears of igniting another one of the massive fires that have plagued the state.
Authorities said swift cooperation with the mandatory evacuations — still mostly in effect in the evening — kept the death toll remarkably low and let responders focus on fighting the Saddleridge Fire and protecting property.
“I saw burns that came up to the backyard of hundreds if not thousands of homes. That took a lot of effort,” Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said. “And to not have any serious firefighter injuries is amazing.”
Officials said Friday evening that they do not expect evacuation orders to expand. But Terrazas also warned that fire was still active in wildland areas — and worried that winds could turn an ember into another deadly blaze. Full containment could take days, officials cautioned, as responders struggle to root out the flames amid heavy vegetation.
“It’s not like your light grass fuels,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Deputy Dave Richardson. “It takes a lot more boots on the ground.”