By Eddie Rivera, News Editor
(UPDATED 4:40 p.m. Saturday, September 2, 2017)
A stubborn brush fire which began Friday afternoon, September 1, has has now burned 5,800 acres in the Verdugo Mountains between Sunland-Tujunga and Burbank . The active fire is now headed toward south Sunland.
The fire, which began just north of the 210 Freeway passing through Sunland, jumped the freeway and headed southeast early Friday evening.
Temperatures in the Los Angeles area have been hovering in the low 100s as of Friday.
The total fire area, as of early Saturday afternoon, stretches from Shadow Hills along Sunland Boulevard in the north east, through the Verdugos above Sunland-Tujunga overlooking Foothill, and south to Brace Canyon and Wildwood Canyon Parks. Both Verdugo Mountain Park and La Tuna Canyon Park are in the middle of the fire area. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Saturday morning that the fire was the largest in area—at eight square miles—than any fire in LA history.
So far, the fire has destroyed only three structures, as of 3:30 Saturday.
“These are isolated, end-of-the street structures, which were written off early,” because of their isolation, said LAPD Fire Captain David Ortiz at a briefing Saturday afternoon.
Just after 2 p.m. Saturday, the fire reportedly began to turn back towards La Tuna Canyon. The 210 Freeway remains closed in both directions in the area, under the supervision of the California Highway Patrol.
The fire is currently at 10% containment, as of noon Saturday. 500-1000 persons have now been evacuated in the fire area.
“Erratic wind and weather is the greatest threat here. The wind can change at any time,” said Ortiz. Ortiz also emphasized that priority air drops were being made wherever power transmission lines were in danger.
Mandatory evacuations had been ordered Friday night for Haven Way from Joaquin to its crest, including Olney Place, Ramey Place, Mystic View, and View Crest. Evacuations were also ordered for Stough Nature Center. Evacuation centers were set up at Sunland Recreation center. Three hundred homes in Burbank, 250 homes in Glendale and 180 homes in Los Angeles have been evacuated.
There are no new mandatory evacuations in place as of Saturday afternoon.
“Watch your social media,” said Ortiz. “Be packed and ready, and if we say, ‘Go,’ you go.”
Information on how to evacuate is available at http://www.lafd.org/safety/education/ready-set-go).
Currently more than 300 LAFD firefighters are working the fire along with crews from Burbank, Pasadena, LA County Fire, and Angeles National Forest, with strike teams arriving from throughout the state, for an estimated total of 500 firefighters..
These are the current evacuation areas: McGroarty Park area from McGroarty to Valaho in Tujunga, and Wormon at Sunland. Evacuees may shelter at Sunland Park at 8651 Foothill Blvd. Residents living on Amigos Drive or Antigua Drive in Burbank may return home.
Aileen at Hillhaven; McGroarty from Oro Vista to Plainview Tujunga, Revierier area from Alene Dr to Hillhaven Ave, Reverier, Glen O Peace Pky, Tranquil Dr, Inspiration Way, Tranquil Pl, Hillhaven Pl, Tujunga. Haines Canyon Area from Charrick Dr, Charrick Pl, Estepa Dr, Wexlord Dr, Tujunga. Sunland:Shadow Island Dr, Wormom Ave South of Sunland
Evacuation Warning: For Glendale communities of Glenoaks, Mountain Oaks, Whiting Woods, there is an evacuation center at Glendale Civic Center).
This story will be updated as necessary.