Los Angeles battles 'largest wildfire in city history'

03 September, 2017, 16:34 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • The La Tuna fire burns in the Verdugo Mountains at left with the Hollywood sign seen in the foreground at right on Friday evening. Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze

Hundreds of firefighters battled flames that devoured almost 20 kilometres of brush-covered mountains as authorities issued evacuation orders for more than 700 homes in Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale.

Carol Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told the Los Angeles Times that a combination of conditions were working against firefighters: temperatures of up to 106 degrees, 50-mph gusts of wind and unstable air.

The blaze covered close to eight square miles - or 5,000 acres, prompting mandatory evacuations of more than 600 homes in L.A., Burbank and Glendale.

At one point, flames spread in four directions in intense heat and wild winds. By Saturday morning, the wildfire - raging in the Verdugo Mountains to the north of Burbank - had grown to more than 5,000 acres, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

"The La Tuna Canyon Fire is an emergency that requires all available resources to protect our residents and keep our homes and other structures out of harm's way", Garcetti said in a statement.

Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said the number of acres burned in the fire is expected to rise.

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Cal Fire said on its website that the fire near Oroville had consumed almost 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) and was 30 percent contained.

No injuries or property damage were reported, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, fluctuating winds had diminished the threat to both neighborhoods, fire officials said.

More than 700 homes had to be evacuated to Los Angeles and several suburbs bordering including Burbank, where were the flames on the hills from the highway or from the residential areas.

Meanwhile in OR, 140 hikers were being evacuated Saturday after a fire broke out southeast of Portland near the Eagle Creek Trail.

The Castaic Fire is up to 25 acres and forward progression has stopped, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The city's officials would have to reassess that plan if the winds "just pick up and go wild", he said. Firefighters encountered punishing heat, with Burbank recording a high of 101 degrees while the Tujunga area reported 96, forecasters said. According to the SCAQMD, unhealthy air quality will exist in portions of the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains and the Glendale area.

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