[Educator-Gold] DISASTERS: WILDFIRES : UNITED STATES: STATES: CALIFORNIA : ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Out-of-Control Wildfire Grows to More Than 33,000 Acres in Santa Clarita Valley

 

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DISASTERS: WILDFIRES :

UNITED STATES: STATES: CALIFORNIA :

ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE:

Out-of-Control Wildfire Grows to More Than 33,000 Acres
in Santa Clarita Valley

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Out-of-Control Wildfire Grows to More Than 33,000 Acres
in Santa Clarita Valley

Cindy Chang, Deborah Netburn, Matt Hamilton and Marisa Gerber

July 24, 2016

Los Angeles Times

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/ la-me-ln-santa-clarita-fire-day-three-20160724-snap-story.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/hoqpnze

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The brush fire raging in the rugged mountains of the Santa Clarita Valley grew by more than 10,000 acres on Sunday, scorching an estimated 33,172 acres by the late evening as the blaze continued to threaten hundreds of homes while firefighters battled to keep flames from spreading, authorities said.

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Fueled by 20-mph winds and hillsides carpeted with tinder-like chaparral, the wildfire was burning in hills toward Acton by late Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of residents were ordered to evacuate.

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Mandatory evacuations were still in place Sunday for about 1,500 residents in parts of Sand and Placerita canyons, as well as for others along Little Tujunga Canyon Road.

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So far, at least 18 structures have been destroyed and one damaged in the Bear Divide and Sand Canyon areas, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. One fatality has been reported, but it is not yet clear if it is fire-related.

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The 14 Freeway in the Santa Clarita Valley was closed in both directions late Sunday afternoon but was later reopened.

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At least one drone was spotted over the fire near the Bear Divide area, about 2,000 feet above Lake View Terrace, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The sighting of a drone over a wildfire typically prompts officials to ground aircraft for 30 minutes. The Forest Service said that those caught flying private aircraft or drones could face criminal charges.

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Assisted by fixed-wing aircraft and water-dropping helicopters, more than 1,600 firefighters continued through the day to battle to get ahead of the blaze. But the fire remains only 10% contained.

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Decades without a major fire and years of drought left the valley primed for a fast-moving fire that was fueled by excessive heat, low humidity, extreme dry fuels that have not burned for several decades, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said during a news conference Saturday.

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Five years ago, if we had a similar fire, we would have probably caught [it] at the ridge, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl L. Osby said at the news conference.

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Most of the structures that were destroyed were in the Angeles National Forest, near Little Tujunga Canyon Road and Bear Divide, said John Tripp, a Los Angeles County deputy fire chief.

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The fire ripped through the hills like a freight train on Saturday, Tripp said.

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Weve never seen a fire come into Sand Canyon like that, Tripp said. All the experience weve had with fires is out the window.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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