Hundreds of US firefighters were battling to save homes Tuesday as a dynamic brush fire driven by strong winds exploded to at least 4,000 acres in hours in Southern California.
Colossal flames, blinding smoke, and ash greeted commuters early Wednesday morning (Dec. 6), when a brush fire consumed the hills east of the 405 freeway, prompting mandatory evacuation orders and the complete closures of the popular roadway, according to ABC7.
In a scene reminiscent of the October fires in the North Bay, video posted by the Los Angeles Times showed dozens of homes burning in one neighborhood as the fire raced through terrain that reportedly had not burned for decades.
The mayor urged residents to heed orders to evacuate - saying, "Do not wait". Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosive wildfires northwest of Los Angeles and in the city's foothills burned a psychiatric hospital and scores of homes and other structures Tuesday and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.
An estimated 800 firefighters were on the lines battling the blaze, which was being pushed by sustained winds of 25 miles per hour, along with gusts up to 45 miles per hour. No civilian injuries or deaths were reported.
The 210 Freeway has been shut down from Sunland Boulevard on the east to the 5 Freeway on the west, and the 118 Freeway interchange with the 210 is also closed amid the firefight. The 405 Freeway in Bentwood has been closed as crews try to tend to the blaze.
The newspaper said evacuations have been ordered in the Sullivan and Mandeville canyon area.
The Creek fire in the Kagel Canyon area above Sylmar and the Hansen Dam Recreation area was reported at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, and is threatening homes. A second center is available to evacuees at the Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick Street.
A temporary evacuation center was set up at Hansen Dam. And 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. Along with the lack of much-needed rain, the Santa Ana winds have made it very hard to contain and put out the fires.
"It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so".
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