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Evacuations ordered near Agua Dulce fires

July 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County firefighters battled three brush fires in the Santa Clarita Valley area Thursday afternoon.

Brush fires were burning on both sides of the 14 Freeway in Agua Dulce Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered in four areas near the fires.

Leona Valley evacuation: Spunky Canyon Rd. to Elizabeth Lake Rd., and north and south of Bouquet Canyon Rd.

Ritter Ranch evacuation: 90th St. west to Grant Center, and all residents south of Elizabeth Lake Rd.

The Rancho Vista community in West Palmdale is under mandatory evacuation orders.

Ana Verde (between Avenue S and the California Aqueduct in South Palmdale) is under mandatory evacuation orders.

Approximately 2,000 homes in total were under mandatory evacuation orders.

Evacuation centers have been set up in the area:

  • Agua Dulce Elementary School, 11311 Frascati St.
  • Acton Community Center, 3748 Nickels Ave. -- The center was closed by 12:30 a.m. Friday.
  • Marie Kerr Park, 2730 West Rancho Vista Blvd.

The American Red Cross said about 200 evacuees were at Agua Dulce Elementary School in Agua Dulce and Marie Kerr Recreation Center in Palmdale overnight. Pets are allowed at both locations.

County officials said a total of more than 4,000 people in the Palmdale area been asked to evacuate their homes.

The "Crown Fire" was burning north of Sierra Highway at Anthony Road. The Crown Fire had burned an estimate of between 4,500 and 5,500 acres by late Thursday night. Earlier, at 5 p.m., the fire department declared the blaze a 3-alarm fire as flames approached the Leona Valley. There was no fire containment reported.

The fire had knocked out a sheriff's department communication tower at Hauser Peak. It affected the Lancaster and Palmdale sheriff's stations, which have no radio communications with their crews. They are able to communicate via computer messaging and phone.

Traffic on the 14 Fwy. was affected.

The "Briggs Fire" was burning south of the 14 Fwy. near Soledad Canyon Rd. It had burned about 530 acres by 8:30 p.m., when the L.A. County Fire Dept. declared it had been knocked down.

The Briggs Fire was burning near 8334 Soledad Canyon Road between Indian Truck Trail and Briggs Road. The blaze had reportedly threatened four to five homes at 35900 Anthony Road. It was moving toward the Station Fire burn area, a 160,577-acre region.

A fire camp for inmates was evacuated earlier Thursday.

A fire near West Lancaster Road and North 215th Street was reported at about 1 p.m. Thursday. At least 30 acres had been burned. No structures were threatened, according to the county fire department. Firefighters extinguished that fire later Thursay.

Air quality was severely affected due to lack of winds in the area; smoke and ash were rising vertically and hanging over the area in the afternoon. By nightfall, winds had kicked up and fanned the flames. The fire was described as being both fuel- and wind-driven.

No injuries were reported from any of the fires.


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