Crews gain control of Southern California's Placerita Fire
Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 2:23 - Firefighters in Southern California were battling a fast-moving wildfire on Sunday that closed a highway and forced residents from their homes around the area of Santa Clarita, a city north of Los Angeles, authorities said.
The fire broke out in the early afternoon after a traffic collision caused a tree to catch fire, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
The blaze, dubbed the Placerita Fire, swelled to roughly 800 acres but firefighters had managed to contains about half the blaze by 6 p.m.(0100 GMT), the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted.
Its size at that point had shrunk by about 50 acres, the department said.
"#PLACERITAFIRE 760 acres 75% cont," said the Los Angeles County Fire Department in a Tweet Monday. "Roads reopen at 8pm. Drive safe in the burn area firefighters are working throughout the night."
An image posted by fire officials on Twitter showed two massive plumes of smoke swirling toward the sky over a blackened hilly landscape in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The blaze was burning in the southeastern area of Santa Clarita, a city of some 181,500 residents.
Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents in some areas threatened by the blaze, though it was not clear how many people were affected, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
One structure was destroyed by the fire and State Route 14 was closed in both directions earlier on Sunday, but traffic has since resumed, the department said.
As of Tuesday (June 27) afternoon the fire was 75 percent contained.
Huge fire on 14 frwy by Santa Clarita. Avoid the freeway!! pic.twitter.com/qdv5EHwNLB— Leslie (@leslievanessa_1) June 25, 2017
It wouldn't be summer if Santa Clarita wasn't on fire pic.twitter.com/WwoUPoIxg4— Ethan Older (@EtotheTen) June 25, 2017
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CAL FIRE said on June 22 that firefighters have responded to 1,878 wildfires, burning over 19,000 acres, since January 1, representing a threefold increase compared with the same time last year.
The video below shows the Pacifica Fire in Westlake Village, California, on June 24.