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Most Schools Forced To Close By Saddle Ridge Fire Back Open Today; Granada Hills Charter High To Remain Closed

GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA) — The weather is helping firefighters gain ground on the Saddle Ridge Fire, allowing most schools in the immediate area to reopen Monday, but Granada Hills Charter High School campuses will remain closed due to poor air quality.

Cooler weather and winds that have died down have helped firefighters battle the 7,965-acre Saddle Ridge Fire that started in Sylmar and quickly jumped to Granada Hills and Porter Ranch. The fire was 43 percent contained as of Sunday night.

"Not completely out of the woods, but we're making progress," Los Angeles Fire spokesman Capt. Erik Scott said.

Two men died of heart attacks amid the firefight – one civilian, and veteran L.A. Park Ranger Capt. Alberto Torres, who had been patrolling the parks impacted by the fire. Three firefighters were also injured.

The fire destroyed 17 structures and damaged 58 others.

All evacuation orders have been lifted.

(credit: CBS)

Several schools in the areas in the immediate area shut down Friday at the height of the fire, but resumed regular classes Monday morning. However, outdoor activities may be limited throughout the district west and northwest valley to restrict exposure to lingering smoke and ash in the air.

The air is much clearer than it was Friday, but the lingering smoke and ash still bothered Mark Martinez's daughter as he walked her to Tulsa Street Elementary in Granada Hills.

"She says she's getting a little headache because of all the smoke, so I put a mask on her," he said.

Cal State Northridge, Los Angeles Mission, Pierce and Valley colleges also resumed full operations Monday.

Granada Hills Charter High School's Zelzah and Devonshire campuses remained closed Monday for clean-up inside the classrooms and offices. All school activities and athletic events scheduled for Monday were also canceled.

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