Brush Fire North Of L.A. Scorches 640 Acres, But Crews Report 25% Containment; Evacuations Lifted & Movie Ranches Safe – Update

the north fire santa clarita
The North Fire threatens homes in Santa Clarita LA County Fire Air Ops via Twitter

UPDATED, 10:30 AM: Firefighters are getting a handle on that initially fast-moving brusher in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. Authorities report 25% containment of the wind-driven North Fire this morning. The estimated burn area was moved down from 650 to 640 acres after infrared mapping was done overnight.

According to L.A. County Supervisor Katheryn Barger, all evacuations have been lifted. A road closure remains in effect on West Hills Drive from Iron Village Drive to northern Copper Hill Drive.

Winds have died down some today, though the temperature is expected to rise to near triple digits in the area on Thursday.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:52 PM: A brush fire erupted today about 30 miles north of Los Angeles in Santa Clarita. By 8 p.m., the blaze had scorched about 650 acres and continued to burn unchecked, prompting evacuations.

The North Fire was reported at about 1:45 p.m. in the area of 29330 The Old Road, east of the Golden State (5) Freeway and just north of Magic Mountain, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The fire was initially reported to be at about one acre in light to medium fuels, but quickly spread and was reported to be at 50 acres by about 3:20 p.m. and moving east.

Fire crews at the scene reported that they slowed their response to the fire due to its proximity of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department explosives-disposal site in the area. (Coincidentally, that’s also the area where an explosion involving film and TV pyrotechnics injured three people and sparked a small brush fire in February.)

By 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the North Fire had exploded to 650 acres and was threatening homes.

Santa Clarita is home to a number of movie ranches. The North Fire seemed to be moving toward one well-known property, The Blue Cloud Ranch, where CBS’ Seal Team has reportedly filmed. Luckily shooting on the show has wrapped.

Frank Gardner, who manages the Blue Cloud Ranch, told Deadline on Wednesday evening that the fire seemed to be about 5-7 miles west of the property as the crow flies. From his vantage Gardner says, “It looks like it’s moving South, so we should be ok.”

Sounding like someone who’d been through this before, Gardner said the ranch has standard procedures in place for such situations. “We always move our water trucks around. We have four of them that we pre-position.”

“I’m more concerned with the residents of Santa Clarita and the firefighters,” he said. “My heart goes out to them.”

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents north and west of West Hills Drive, north of Iron Village Drive, north and west of Tesoro Del Valle and north of Copper Hill Drive due to the North Fire, the City of Santa Clarita announced. Evacuated residents who need assistance should contact the Red Cross, according to local authorities.

Road closures were in effect for West Hills Drive from Iron Village Drive to northern Copper Hill Drive.

The fire was 0% contained as of about 7 p.m.

After a record wildfire season in 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced recently that the state, headed toward a second year of drought with the Southern Sierra snowpack at only 15% of normal for this time of year, has already seen more fires to date than it did last year.

Erik Pedersen and City News Service contributed to this report.

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