California Fire Prompts Nearly 13,000 Evacuations, Threatens Homes and Thousands of Acres

California wildfire spreads as fears mount over further power shutoffs

A fast-growing, wind-driven wildfire swept into the northern Los Angeles area overnight, forcing hurried evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people, closing portions of at least three major freeways and sending firefighters scrambling to save homes.

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A number of colleges and other schools have closed Friday because of the fire, including California State University Northridge and Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar. Jerry Rowe uses a garden hose to save his home on Beaufait Avenue from the Saddleridge fire in Granada Hills, Calif., Oct. 11, 2019.

The fire had burned through more than 4,000 acres with zero containment by Friday morning, according to an update from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).

A commercial building was destroyed by the blaze, called the Saddleridge Fire, authorities reported. "As you can imagine the embers from the wind have been traveling a significant distance which causes another fire to start", Terrazas said.

Wildfires from the Saddleridge Fire in northern California are seen from the air, October 10 2019.

About 23,000 homes - involving roughly 100,000 people - have been told to evacuate in the northern Los Angeles area because of the Saddleridge Fire, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Friday.

A fast-moving fire spurred on by high winds broke out in Los Angeles on Thursday night, burning down more than 4,000 acres and multiple homes, and forcing the evacuation of almost 13,000 people in the San Fernando Valley.

The Saddleridge Fire is one of several burning in Southern California. Residents will not be allowed back in until it is safe, he said. Neighborhoods within 20 miles northwest of central Los Angeles were impacted by the evacuations, which were confirmed by the city's Mayor Eric Garcetti. It has burned at least 500 acres and was at least 10% contained.

Red Flag Warnings have been extended through Saturday evening for large parts of Southern California.

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