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Sylmar Fire Forces Hundreds Of Thousands To Evacuate, Shuts Down 210 Freeway

SYLMAR (CBSLA) — Amid Santa Ana wind conditions believed to be the worst in a decade, a brush fire broke out Tuesday in the Kagel Canyon area above Sylmar and quickly raced across thousands of acres, forcing more than a 100,000 people from their homes and closing a stretch of the Foothill (210) Freeway and scorching 11,000 acres.

At about 5:30 p.m. a new spot fire approximately broke out in the 11000 block of N. Tampa Avenue in Porter Ranchor. This is in addition to the Creek fire and no structures are threatened and there are no need for evacuations for that fire.


The blaze, dubbed the Creek Fire, was reported at 3:42 a.m. in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. By daybreak, the fire had expanded to about 2,500 acres, and by about 8:30 a.m. it was listed at about 4,000 acres.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials said about 30 structures have been destroyed.

Watch CBS2 reporter And Cameraman Jump In And Save Horses


The Los Angeles Police Department, meanwhile, was on a citywide tactical alert, which allows commanders maximum flexibility in deploying resources. Two firefighters were reported injured in this fire, including one hospitalized after a bulldozer rolled over in the Sunland- Tujunga area, but the injury was not considered to be life-threatening.


The 210 Freeway was closed in both directions between the 5 Freeway on the west and the Glendale (2) Freeway. The 210 interchange with the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway was also closed.

Evacuation centers were opened at:
— Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave.
— Branford Recreation Center, 13306 Branford St., Arleta
— Sun Valley Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave., Sylmar
— Granada Hills Recreation Center, 16730 Chatsworth St.
— Stonehurst Recreation Center, 9901 Dronfield Ave., Sun Valley
— Valley Plaza Recreation Center, 12240 Archwood St., North Hollywood
— North Hollywood Recreation Center, 11430 Chandler Blvd.
— Chatsworth South Recreation Center, 22360 Devonshire St.
— Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center, 14201 Huston St.
— Mason Recreation Center, 10500 Mason Ave., Chatsworth

As the fire expanded and jumped south of the 210 Freeway, so did the mandatory evacuation area. By late morning, evacuations had been ordered in the area north of the 210 Freeway from Glenoaks Boulevard on the west to the border with La Crescenta on the east.

But by early afternoon, the eastern border of the evacuation area had enlarged to the Haynes Canyon area. Also, an area south of the 210 Freeway was ordered evacuated in the Shadow Hills area, in a roughly triangular area between Sunland Boulevard to the south, Wentworth Street to the north and Wheatland Avenue to the west.

It was unclear exactly how many homes were affected by the evacuation orders.

Homes Gutted By Creek Fire In Sylmar

Evacuation centers were opened at the Sylmar Recreation Center at 13109 Borden Ave. and at the Branford Recreation Center at 13306 Branford St. in Arleta. An evacuation center had been opened at the Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick St., but that center was closed as the fire expanded toward that area.

An evacuation area for large animals was established at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave.; and at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, but the latter was filled to capacity by mid-morning. Hansen Dam Recreation Area was also being used as an evacuation center for large animals.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger urged residents in the area with horses and other large animals to consider moving them to alternate shelter even before evacuation orders come through, given how quickly the fire is moving.

"Better safe than sorry," Barger said.

For small animals, shelters were in place at West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St.; East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St.; and Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Blvd, Sunland/Tujunga.

The fire affected a number of schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Get more closure and evacuation information here.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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