Firefighters battle 2 brush fires in Santa Clarita area

ByAmy Powell and staff KABC logo
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Firefighters face dangerous temps while battling double brush fires
One of the fires burned dangerously close to a large beverage manufacturing facility off Needham Ranch Parkway.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- Firefighters were battling two fires that were spreading quickly through brush amid triple-digit conditions in the Santa Clarita area Tuesday.

The Agua Fire erupted in the Angeles National Forest and quickly spread to at least 60 acres Tuesday afternoon.

Flames from the Agua Fire chewed through vegetation while threatening a trailer park in the area and forcing the closure of nearby Metrolink tracks. At least one truck at an outdoor facility was seen engulfed in flames.

Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

"These record temperatures are definitely accelerating the process as far as curing what we have as far as dry brush," said Craig Little with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire was first reported around 2 p.m. in the area of Soledad Canyon and Agua Dulce Canyon roads. As it burned through medium-to-heavy brush firefighters initially estimated it had grown to 100 acres but later downgraded the figure to 60. Containment was estimated at 10% by early evening.

Fire crews were battling the flames in triple-digit temperatures that prompted a heat advisory for the area. Less than two hours later, a second brush fire broke out in the Santa Clarita Valley area.

The Victor Fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. in the area of Sierra Highway and Needham Ranch, roughly 15 miles away from the Agua Fire.

"We had a few things that were running in our favor with this fire," explained Little. "Number one, there was a ridge that pretty much held the fire in check. In addition to that, we had winds that were going against the fire, which also helped us."

AIR7 HD was above the scene just before 4:30 p.m. as flames burned close to the DrinkPAK campus off Needham Ranch Parkway.

People were seen standing outside the canned beverage manufacturer's facility, though it is unclear if employees were asked to evacuate.

The possibility of flames spreading to the building appeared low due to visible brush clearance surrounding the facility. By 5 p.m. the Victor Fire was estimated at 50 acres and was 20% contained by the evening.

"We're trying to get a handle on these fires as early as possible and hit it with as many available resources as we can before they can get out of hand," said Little.

The so-called Victor Fire was seen burning dangerously close to the 1.7 million-square-foot DrinkPAK facility at Needham Ranch.

City News Service contributed to this report.