CALIFORNIA—A fast moving fire began late Thursday, October 10 near the city of Sylmar and quickly spread to surrounding neighborhoods, as reported by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The fire, dubbed the “Saddleridge Fire,” began around 9 p.m. near Saddleridge Road and Yarnell Street in Sylmar. The fire quickly picked up speed due to the Santa Ana winds. Flames jumped the 5 freeway into Granada Hills and Porter Ranch. At least 25,000 homes have been evacuated, which includes at least 100,000 people.
Porter Ranch, Oakridge Estates, homes west of Balboa, north of Sesnon to the Ventura County border and the De Soto area were given mandatory evacuation orders. At least 25 homes have been damaged. One man in his late 50s died from cardiac arrest while trying to defend his home from the flames. One firefighter suffered a minor eye injury while battling the flames.
As of 1:49 p.m. on Friday, October 11, the fire has grown and burned 7,542 acres and is only 13 percent contained. Over 1,000 firefighters from various locations have been assigned to battle the blaze. According to latest reports made on Saturday, October 12, the fire’s containment is now at 19 percent.
Due to the dangerous conditions, at approximately 6 a.m. several freeways were closed. The 210 freeway was closed from the 118 freeway to the 5 freeway, as well as the 5 southbound at Cal Grove. The 5 northbound at Roxford, 405 northbound at the 118, the Old Road southbound at Pico Canyon, and 14 southbound at Newhall were also closed.
Evacuation centers for residents include the following:
-The Sylmar Recreation Center located at 13109 Borden Ave.
-The Northridge Recreation Center located at 18300 Lemarsh St.
-Mason Park located at 10500 Mason Ave. (at capacity)
-The Granada Hills Recreation Center located at 16730 Chatsworth St. (at capacity)
Evacuation centers for large pets are the following:
-The West Valley animal shelter located at 20655 Plummer St.
-Hansen Dam located at 11770 Foothill Blvd.
If help is needed for the evacuation of large animals, call the East Valley animal shelter at (818) 756-9323.
As of 4:34 p.m. on October 11, two lanes were opened on both the 5 southbound and 5 northbound freeways. Per LA Public Health, unhealthy air quality remains in the following areas:
-North West LA County
-West San Fernando Valley
-East San Fernando Valley
-Santa Clarita Valley
-San Gabriel mountains
-West San Gabriel Valley
Some LAUSD schools were closed on Friday due to the fire, as well as some college campuses, such as LA Pierce College and LA Valley College. The cause of the Saddleridge fire remains under investigation. The Los Angeles Fire Department is asking residents who are told to evacuate to follow through and not remain in their homes.