Brush fire north of Los Angeles forces evacuations

Brush fire north of Los Angeles forces evacuations

As the smoke cleared at a Sylmar community Wednesday devastated by the fast-moving Creek Fire, the remains of 29 horses who died were discovered.

As firefighters tenaciously battled flames from several major fires that all flared in just 24 hours in Southern California, animal lovers anxious about their pet's safety with as many as 150,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders. Reports indicated that at least one home had been damaged but firefighters told reporters at the scene that four or five others had also caught fire.

Evacuation orders first issued Tuesday were affecting about 110,000 households, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Virginia Padilla, whose family owns a ranch in Sylmar, told reporters the fire killed at least 30 of the ranch's horses. Although numerous homes were charred on Tuesday, firefighters were still dousing hot spots that flared up on Thursday morning. Tuesday's warnings are scheduled to expire at 6 p.m., but forecasters say Santa Ana winds could persist into Friday or Saturday. The LAPD was placed on a citywide tactical alert, which allows commanders maximum flexibility in deploying resources.

The gusty winds also have the potential to bring down trees and power lines, and already brought down several big rig trucks along the 210 Freeway in Fontana.

The mandatory evacuations included a mobile home park in Lopez Canyon; Arroyo Street north of the Foothill (210) Freeway; a mobile home park on Maclay Street; and the Pacoima Wash west of Sayre Street.

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That zones hugs Foothill Boulevard and stretches for approximately 15 miles from Sylmar to Crescenta Highlands.

But by early Tuesday afternoon, the eastern boundary of the evacuation area had been expanded to the Haynes Canyon area.

Seventeen evacuation centers were opened throughout the San Fernando Valley, all of which were accepting evacuees and pets. The fire also forced a mass evacuation of large animals, primarily horses but also others such as alpacas.

Evacuation centers are open at the Sylmar Recreation Center, located at 13109 Borden Avenue.

- for small animals, West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St.; East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St.; and Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Blvd, Sunland/Tujunga. The fire affected a number of schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, prompting the closures of 14 campuses in the fire area today.

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