Creek Fire Chars Nearly 11400 Acres in Sylmar

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- A fast-moving brush fire raced across 150 acres in the Sepulveda Pass Wednesday, destroying at least four homes, prompting a rush-hour closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway and forcing mandatory evacuations.

Hundreds of USA 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. Those in the area were ordered by the Los Angeles Fire Department to evacuate.

As firefighters tenaciously battled flames from several major fires that all flared in just 24 hours in Southern California, animal lovers anxious about their pet's safety with as many as 150,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders.

The 50-acre brush fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, broke out just before 5 a.m. Wednesday near where Interstate 405 intersects with Mulholland Drive in Bel-Air. It's unclear if the fire is burning the vineyard or the house as well. Other agencies assisting including the U.S. Forest Service. The Los Angeles Police Department was on a citywide tactical alert, which allows commanders maximum flexibility in deploying resources.

Shortly before 7 a.m., the California Highway Patrol closed the entire 405 Freeway between the Ventura (101) Freeway and the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, along with on-ramps and off-ramps and freeway transition roads in the affected area.

But by early Tuesday afternoon, the eastern boundary of the evacuation area had been expanded to the Haynes Canyon area. More than 600 firefighters battled the blaze amid strong Santa Ana winds, some gusting at 70 miles per hour. The area from Sayre Street to the 5 and 14 freeways split was under voluntary evacuation, according to L.A. Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell.

Large-animal evacuation centers at Pierce College, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and Hansen Dam Recreation Area quickly reached capacity.

- for small animals, West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St.; East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St.; and Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Blvd, Sunland/Tujunga. All other Sylmar-area schools will remain open. Los Angeles Mission College's Main Campus at 13356 Eldridge Ave. and the East Campus at 12890 Harding St., both in Sylmar, were closed for the day, but there was no immediate word if classes would resume today.



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