Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Liz Miller
Observer Staff Writer 

30,000 Acre Wildfire Continues to Grow North of Los Angeles

18 Homes have been Destroyed; Large Animals should now go to Pierce College

 

Update 7 PM 7/24: Sand Fire continues to move at a rapid speed.

The Santa Monica Animal Shelter is collecting animal crates to help relocate animals. There are many animal sanctuaries and rescues in the areas now being evacuated. Contact your local shelter or go to #sandfire on Twitter to see if there is a way for you to help.

Current Evacuation Zones: Sierra Hwy at Shady Lane to Sierra Hwy at 14 / Escondido at 14 to Sierra Hwy at 14

Agua Dulce Canyon Road north to the 14 Freeway / Crown Valley Road north to the 14 Freeway.

Soledad Canyon Road between Agua Dulce & Crown Valley.

All residents in Sand Canyon from Lost Canyon to Bear Divide / All residents in Placerita Canyon from the Nature Center to Sand Canyon / Little Tujunga from Bear Divide to LA River Ranger District (Station), 12371 Little Tujunga Cyn Rd.

Update 3:16 PM: Hwy 14 is closed. Large animals are no longer being accepted at Hansen Dam, Pierce College, or Jack Bones Equestrian Center. Antelope Valley Fairgrounds is accepting large animals. Antelope Valley Fairgrounds 2551 West Avenue H. Please evacuate large animals before the evacuation becomes mandatory.

1:40 PM 7/24: NEW EVACS Agua Dulce N 2 14Fwy/Crown Valley N 2 14Fwy /All of Soledad in Btw. . Acton @14 freeway to N. Soledad Canyon-South. Agua Dulce west & Soledad Cyn/south. Evacuation center:Highland High School, 39055 25th St West, Palmdale. Sand Cyn evacs remain in place.

Update 11:45 AM 7/24: 18 homes have been destroyed. Residents of Sand Cyn & Placarita Cyn should remain vigilant. Residents of Soledad Cyn going to Agua Dulce/ Acton be on HIGH ALERT (LA County Fire Dept). 22,000 acres and 10% containment. Hansen Dam has reached capacity of large animals. Pierce College is alternative evacuation site for large animals.

Update 10:15 PM 7/23: An unidentified man's burned body has been found in an evacuated part of Iron Canyon Road, the first casualty of Sand Fire. As firefighters continue to battle into the night, some hot spots are now being reported way east of the 14 freeway. No buildings are in immediate danger at this time, but it has been confirmed that earlier today some unspecified structures were either damaged or destroyed.

Update 6:30 PM 7/23: Sand Fire is now estimated to be 20,000 acres with 10% containment, with over 900 personnel fighting the flames. 1500 homes have been evacuated, and a new Evacuation Center Is now located at Hart High School, 24825 N. Newhall Ave Santa Clarita.

Update, 4 PM 7/23: According to the Los Angeles County Incident Alert, at least one house has been lost on Josel Drive on the outskirts of Santa Clarita, and fire retardant is being sprayed on approximately 100 houses in Sand Canyon. The fire is now moving South, with additional evacuations for Santa Clarita Residents at Sand Canyon from Robinson Ranch Golf Course to Bear Divide and Placerita Canyon from the Nature Center to Sand Canyon.

Saturday 1:15 pm: The Wildlife Waystation animal sanctuary in Sylmar is evacuating more than 400 animals of all sizes. Please go to their facebook page or twitter account to see if you can help in providing transport or other services. They need air conditioned warehouse facilities for housing larger animals. Their phones are down, so contact them through Facebook.

A fire that broke out about 2:10 p.m. Friday in the hot, dry Santa Clarita Valley just North of Los Angeles has now grown to 11,000 acres with only 10% containment as more than 300 firefighters struggle to control the raging inferno.

Temperatures up to 111° F and gusty winds have hindered firefighting efforts and prompted a number of evacuations, including one that remains in effect for about 300 homes in unincorporated Little Tujunga Canyon.

Shelters have been established at Golden Valley High School on Robert C. Lee Parkway in Santa Clarita and at the Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center on Foothill Boulevard.

Large animals can be taken to the Pitchess Detention Center (Jack Bones Equestrian Center) on The Old Road in Castaic.

The Department of Public Health issued a smoke advisory for Santa Clarita, San Gabriel, and San Fernando Valleys on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning added Pomona and Central Los Angeles. The department encourages residents to take precautionary protective measures, particularly those with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments.

Individuals throughout the area should avoid outdoor activities and keep all windows closed. Pets should be kept indoors, and sports organizations are encouraged to cancel any programming.

At a press conference at noon on Saturday, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said that five years ago the fire would likely have been stopped at the first ridge, but since we are in the fifth year of an ongoing drought, there is a lot of dried vegetation, which enables any fire to spread much more rapidly.

At this point, fighters are doing all they can to keep the fire from moving into residential areas, but weather conditions continue to make the spread of the flames unpredictable. They ask residents in nearby areas to be ready to evacuate, and to evacuate at once when asked to do so. When residents don't evacuate, fire fighters must risk their lives in rescue efforts.

Sand Canyon and Canyon Country residents are on evacuation standby.

See also The Sun Was Red in Santa Monica, Los Angeles This Morning http://www.smobserved.com/story/2016/07/23/news/the-sun-is-red-this-morning-in-santa-monica-los-angeles/1649.html

 

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