The map below shows the fire perimeter in orange and evacuation areas in red.
More than a half-dozen large wildfires are burning across California, including one north of Los Angeles in suburban Santa Clarita. Driven by erratic Santa Ana winds, the Tick Fire ballooned overnight, but firefighters kept it under control today, holding it at 4,300 acres. Crews have built containment lines around 5 percent of the blaze.
“We feel like we made good progress,” Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Vince Pena said at a 5 p.m. press conference, announcing that some of the 40,000 residents under evacuation orders would be repopulated this evening.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said it was the largest evacuation in Santa Clarita Valley history.
Tonight, as winds subside to “light to moderate” speeds, Pena said the the 575 firefighters working the blaze would focus on “securing” its north end to keep it out of the national forest and putting out hot spots around homes.
“It’s absolutely short of a miracle that our fire department has been able to contain the fire the way they have with these winds,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean.
The fire has damaged at least six homes and destroyed two since breaking out around 1:45 p.m. Thursday along Tick Canyon Road. It spread quickly into the Canyon Country area; KTLA reported that within 20 minutes, the flames had spread to 200 acres.
Last night, flames leapt across the highway and raced into Sand Canyon, where they charred 700 to 800 acres, according to Pena.
The southbound 14 is closed between Golden Valley Road and Escondido Canyon Road, while northbound lanes have reopened. CalTrans advises motorists to use the 5 and 138 and 15 and 138 as alternate routes between Palmdale and Lancaster and Los Angeles.
A second fire, originally dubbed the Old Fire, burning near the 5 Freeway in Castaic, is now considered part of the Tick Fire.
In LA, the Sepulveda Basin caught fire Thursday afternoon, but is now 80 percent contained, after charring 80 acres. It forced the evacuation of homeless residents camped in the area, near the 101 freeway, and filled the San Fernando Valley with smoke. The Los Angeles Unified School District has closed all of its campuses in the Valley today due to poor air quality.
A red flag warning and heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service are in effect today, with winds forecasted to gust up to 55 mph and temperatures expected to climb into the 90s.
The “strongest Santa AnaWinds will continue to be focused across LA and Ventura counties this morning with gusts 40-65 mph, strongest in the mountains,” the Weather Service tweeted today. “Very rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior possible with new ignitions.”
Southern California Edison is warning customers it might shut off power to 46,282 customers in Los Angeles County, including in Glendale, Malibu, Universal City, and San Fernando. It has already shut off power in Chatsworth.