Saddle Ridge Fire burns dozens of homes in Los Angeles

Raging wildfire skips two freeways in Los Angeles as firefighters race to save homes

Raging wildfire skips two freeways in Los Angeles as firefighters race to save homes

Three massive fires erupted on Thursday in Southern California, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

Flames from the Saddleridge Fire approach a home in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles, California, in the early morning hours of October 11, 2019. Terrazas said emergency officials received the first reports of the fire around 9 p.m. Thursday and that it was located near the 210 freeway at the Yarnell Street exit.

At that time it had gutted 60 acres before growing to 1,600 acres about an hour later. Parts of those freeways remained closed during the Friday morning commute along with portions of the 14, 118 and 405 freeways. Some 1,000 firefighters have also been deployed to battle the fire.

At least nine fires are burning in the Golden State Friday morning, including five in Southern California, fueled by gusty winds blowing through the region.

The largest is the Saddleridge fire near Slymar that burned more than 4,600 acres and spread to the nearby Newhall Pass, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch.

Fire officials say the blaze is moving rapidly northward toward Santa Clarita.

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The blaze is unpredictable, LAPD Chief Michel Moore warned, and he urged those in evacuation areas to follow orders to leave.

Earlier Friday, LAFD tweeted that some evacuation centers like one at Granada Hills Recreation Center were full, but it added that others were opening up.

The National Weather Service said a wind advisory and a red flag warning are in effect. "Still was able to barely get through on the Interstate 5 north".

The Riverside County Fire Department said the blaze is so far only 10 percent contained.

It started when the load on a garbage truck caught on fire and spread to vegetation, Capt. Fernando Herrera of Cal Fire Riverside told CNN affiliate KABC. The fire went from 100 to 200 acres in about 90 minutes, before jumping to almost 400 two hours later. "It started just eating up vegetation as fast as the eye can see", he said.

Thousands of homes and businesses in California were hit with forced power outages in the days previous, as part of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co's attempt to prevent wildfires being sparked by downed power lines.

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