SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - A quick-moving brush fire grew to 7,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area and remained at 5 percent containment amid evacuated homes and schools, fire officials said Wednesday morning.
Dubbed the Rye Fire, the blaze began about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday near the 2500 block of Rye Canyon Loop. Less than two hours later, it had spread to 5,000 acres, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
About 775 firefighters responded to the burn area, which was initially north of Newhall Ranch Road and west of the 5 Freeway. The interstate was temporarily closed in the burn area; traffic resumed in both directions by 2 p.m.
After being evacuated, residents of the Stevenson Ranch community were allowed to return to their homes.
Simi Valley residents were on alert as the flames marched southwest toward that community. All Simi Valley Unified School District campuses were closed Wednesday "due to poor air quality and potential fire dangers from neighboring events," the superintendent, Dr. Jason Peplinski, said in a statement.
By Wednesday, the inferno had charred 7,000 acres west of Valencia, Cal Fire said on Twitter.