Evacuation orders canceled for areas affected by Creek and La Tuna Canyon fires

LA TUNA CANYON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There were major concerns that when the heavy rain moved into Los Angeles County, it could cause some serious problems, especially in the burn areas.

Los Angeles city, county, fire and police officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss potential storm impacts on the La Tuna Canyon, Skirball and Creek Fire burn areas.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for the Creek Fire and La Tuna Canyon Fire burn areas, which included Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga.

But by 5 p.m., sheriff's officials chose to cancel those orders as the storm's intensity dwindled by Wednesday afternoon.

The only mandatory evacuation orders remaining in effect Wednesday night were for the 8300 to 9000 block of La Tuna Canyon Road because of debris flows in that area.

RELATED: Biggest storm of the season makes its way onshore, soaking northern LA, Ventura counties

An evacuation shelter was set up at the Sylmar Recreation Center and Sun Valley Recreation Center for anyone who needs a place to stay.

The concerns were that hillsides would be stripped of vegetation by recent fires that won't be able to absorb all the rain, which can result in life-threatening debris flows and mudslides.

"Don't take this lightly. The unpredictability of the way the slides occur are something that we cannot control. We do everything that we can to mitigate it. I'm grateful for our city family for helping to identify some of our most vulnerable areas and being proactive to put K-rails out, but again, we need the public's help to assure that we continue to do all that we can to protect private property and life," said councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.

L.A. city and county officials set up a joint information center, which can be reached at (323) 957-4594.

In Burbank, voluntary evacuations and road closures were also issued.

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Some Burbank roads are closed and voluntary evacuations are in place ahead of a major storm expected to hit Southern California on Wednesday and Thursday.

More than a dozen streets are in the mudslide danger zone. On Brace Canyon Road, homeowners put tarps on the steep hill that sent mounds of mud into their backyards in January. Residents said a gate on Groton Drive was knocked down and washed away in that rainstorm.

Sandbags are in place throughout the city. "No parking" signs are also lined up along streets to keep vehicles from being washed down in the event of major mud and debris flows, like one on Country Club Drive, also back in January.

Southern California's first spring storm made its way onshore, soaking areas of northern Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. A flash flood watch is scheduled to remain in effect throughout the region until 5 a.m. Friday.
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