LOS ANGELES—Firefighters from departments across the Southern California area are still working to contain and extinguish a Sage fire. The brush fire has scorched upwards of 1,000 acres of the Santa Clarita Valley.
The blaze is now 85 percent contained, which broke out at approximately 12:05 p.m. Saturday, July 9, in the 24900 block of The Old Road near Calgrove Boulevard and the 5 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Less than 24 hours later, the flames, fueled by hot temperatures and winds up to 25 mph, had scorched up to 1,109 acres, the Los Angeles Fire Department tweeted. Containment grew overnight from 15 percent to 20 percent and then to 49 percent by 6 p.m. Saturday.
Over 2,000 residents from 700 homes were evacuated Saturday morning and allowed to return back to their homes at 9:30 p.m. later in the day. Temporary shelter was available at West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch; the evacuation center has since been closed.
A small home, located at the 25000 block of Dogwood Court in the Sagecrest neighborhood, caught fire in the burn area on Sunday at approximately 7 a.m., when an ember ignited a fire in the attic of the house. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. The house sustained significant damage, but no injuries were reported.
A red flag warning was in effect from 3 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday across the mountains and foothills of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties due to “gusty northwest to north winds” and low relative humidity, according to the National Weather Service.
The Sage fire was 85 percent contained by Monday night, thanks to 700 firefighters from various agencies, including five strike teams, 33 engines, one helicopter, and one fixed-wing aircraft.Crews are no longer dealing with active flames; 550 firefighters are working on the containment line and checking for hotspots.
Three firefighters, including one inmate firefighter, suffered minor injuries combatting the flames and were treated at local hospitals. Investigators are still working to determine what sparked the fire.
The National Weather Service warned over the weekend that gusty conditions and low humidity would create critical fire weather conditions through Sunday night and reported, “The combination of gusty winds, low humidity, warm temperatures, and very dry fuels will create critical fire weather conditions with the potential for extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth.”
The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory on Sunday in portions of the Santa Clarita Valley and San Gabriel Mountains, which was originally scheduled through Monday night, but later extended to Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.
The advisory encourages people in the aforementioned areas to avoid outdoor activity, keep doors and windows closed, and avoid indoor and outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces; people with heart disease, elders, and children are urged to remain indoors, with windows and doors closed as a precaution.