Brush fire north of Los Angeles forces evacuations

Posted at 6:49 AM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 13:25:04-05

SYLMAR, Calif. (CNS) - An early-morning brush fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area above Sylmar Tuesday has charred at least 4,000 acres and damaged at least one home, prompting evacuations.

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, which was assisting the U.S. Forest Service and the Los Angeles Fire Department in the battle.

No injuries have been reported. Fire officials said "multiple structures," including homes, are threatened. Reports indicated that at least one home had been damaged, but firefighters told reporters at the scene that for or five others had also caught fire.

Two evacuation centers were opened: Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave. in Sylmar; and Sunland Senior Center, 8640 Fenwick St. in Sunland.

About 6 a.m., sheriff's deputies and Los Angeles Police Department officers began evacuations in the 12300 block of Little Tujunga Road down to Foothill Boulevard, according to the LAPD.

And by about 7 a.m., mandatory evacuations had been ordered in Little Tujunga Canyon, Kagel Canyon, and Lopez Canyon, according to the sheriff's department.

The mandatory evacuations included a mobile home park in Lopez Canyon; Arroyo Street north of the Foothill (210) Freeway; a mobile home park on Maclay Street; and the Pacoima Wash west of Sayre Street.

Some voluntary evacuations were recommended in the general area, including east of Veterans Park to Pacoima Canyon; Between Sayre and Polk streets north of the 210 Freeway; and between Polk and Bledsoe streets.

The Foothill (210) Freeway has been closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway on the west and Sunland Boulevard on the east, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Also, the interchange of the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway at the 210 Freeway has been closed, and motorists are advised to take alternate routes to the south only.

The Los Angeles Unified School District said the student bodies of Hubbard and Harding schools in Sylmar would be redirected to San Fernando High School at 11133 O'Melveny Ave. in San Fernando.

Parents were being asked to take their children directly to San Fernando High, where instruction will take place. All other Sylmar-area schools will remain open.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory through Wednesday morning due to the fires.

"Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion," the advisory states. "People with respiratory or heart disease, pregnant women, older adults and children should remain indoors. Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter. Run your air conditioner if you have one, and keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside."