Authorities said the blaze started in the area of Soledad Canyon Road, just south of Crown Valley Road, just before 4 p.m. By 11 p.m., crews were still working to contain it.
Firefighters from the Los Angeles city and county departments, along with the U.S. Forest Service, responded to the scene, and three helicopters and airplanes also aided in the fire fight.
Winds kicked up and blew embers, causing the fire to spread. But by 6 p.m., crews were able to confine the blaze to the Santa Clara River wash area.
Mark Savage of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said mandatory evacuations had not been ordered, but residents close to flames were advised to gather their valuables and animals and leave the area.
A small structure, possibly a trailer, was destroyed, Savage said. At least one small truck was also burned.
According to the California Highway Patrol, northbound Soledad Canyon Road was closed at the Santa Clara River, and southbound Soledad Canyon was closed at Crown Valley Road.
Metrolink said tracks are closed north of the Via Princess station due to the fire. Buses will be provided for Action, Palmdale and Lancaster stations.
No injuries were reported.
The blaze came within about 50 ft of Denise Monsour's doorstep.
"I've only been this scared one other time and that was the 1994 earthquake," she said, "but this was pretty frightening."
Monsour loaded her three children and dogs into her car and took off. The fire destroyed a vehicle and structures on the property.
Iva Konya and her husband rushed to help their friends save five horses.
"It was outrageous. There were flames 50 ft. high," she said.
Konya said the buildings that burned were the last remnants of an old mining town.