Evacuations issued for Creek, La Tuna Canyon fire burn areas in Los Angeles County

SUNLAND, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for areas affected by the Creek Fire and La Tuna Canyon Fire Tuesday night that will go into effect Wednesday afternoon.

The evacuation orders were issued for Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga, as well as the 8300 block to the 9000 block of La Tuna Canyon Road. The orders go into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials issued the orders early to get people ready to evacuate ahead of expected heavy rainfall from a large storm moving through the Southland.

Evacuation shelters will be set up by 5 p.m. Wednesday at Sylmar High School, 13050 Borden Ave. in Sylmar, and at the Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 Sepulveda Ave. in Los Angeles. Residents with large animals may take them to the Equestrian Park at the Hansen Dam, 11127 Orcas Ave. in Lake View Terrace as early as 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Voluntary evacuation orders were also issued for the 9000 block of La Tuna Canyon Road to Sunland Boulevard, from Day Street to Plainview Street to Sherman Grove Avenue. Those orders will also go into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

RELATED: Rain storm, likely largest of season, moves into Southland

The orders come Tuesday evening as a county crews worked to clear debris basins all day to keep them from clogging up and overflowing ahead of what could be the biggest storm of the season.

Fire crews at L.A. Fire House 24 have 10 tons of sand and 3,000 sandbags available for residents who feel they need to protect their homes from potential storm damage.

Residents from areas such as Sunland, Sun Valley and Tujunga are pretty savvy about storm preparations, fire officials say. K-rails and sandbags were set up in front of their driveways and their homes.

One resident said in January he had about 2,000 pounds of mud in his driveway after heavy rains.

Firefighters said they want to remind people that it takes just 12 inches of water and some mud to get a car moving in a rushing river.

"We'll have swift-water teams up tonight, and we'll probably have our Type 3 engines up and running tomorrow morning - which are the big, green ones, four-wheel-drive ones, and they can make it through real well - ...so, we're there, and we're ready, but during the storm, if you get caught in debris flow, we can't help you until you get stopped," said LAFD Capt. Tim Foor.

In Burbank, hiking trails were closed by 3 p.m. Tuesday, which included the Stough Canyon Nature Center and the Wildwood Recreation Center. People were asked to avoid the areas during heavy rainfall.

RELATED: Evacuations in effect for parts of Ventura, Santa Barbara counties as heavy rain looms

The rain first hit the northern part of the region in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties early Tuesday morning. It will get heavier on Wednesday and the heaviest downpours are likely Thursday. The rain is expected to continue until early Friday morning.
By Wednesday, Los Angeles and Orange counties should expect to see 1-2 inches of rain, and possibly 2-4 inches on Thursday.

Crews also spent hours clearing out storm drains in Orange County, especially in the Anaheim Hills, where a brush fire ripped through the area last year. In one neighborhood, crews made sure drains were clear but repaired sandbag berms that were installed in January.

In Seal Beach, a berm was set up to keep flood and ocean waters out of the neighborhoods along the coast.

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Residents in recent burn areas in Orange County and along Seal Beach prepared for heavy rains expected to hit the area Tuesday evening.

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