'Erratic' wildfire near Los Angeles burns 5000 acres, forces hundreds to evacuate

A brush fire in Los Angeles burning near the 210 freeway is prompting road closures and nearby home evacuations.

The La Tuna Canyon fire burns in the hills above Burbank, California, early September 2, 2017.

High winds sent embers from the original blaze north across the 210, sparking another fire, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. Although no injuries were reported, one home had been destroyed, the fire department said.

Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Ralph Terrazas said during a 3:30 p.m. news conference at the department's command post at the Hanson Dam that the 8,000-acre estimate number was expected to grow when there was time to fly over the perimeter.

According to Terrazas, it is the largest fire, by acreage, that the Los Angeles city area has ever seen. More than 400 firefighters from Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena Los Angeles County, Los Angeles city and Angeles National Forest agencies were involved in battling the blaze. The blaze, which erupted on Tuesday from a campfire that was started outside a designated area, was 40 percent contained.

Many others, including some that have been larger and claimed hundreds of homes, have burned through metropolitan Los Angeles County over the years.

"These weather factors will result in the potential for rapid fire spread in the warned area through at least Saturday evening", the weather service said.

Fire officials said they had no immediate information Saturday on whether any of the giant trees - including the 100-foot-round, 24-story-high Bull Buck sequoia - had burned.

People carry their belongings and dog to a vehicle as they prepare to evacuate as the La Tuna Fire approaches in the Shadow Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, September 2, 2017. Firefighters initially feared the flames would reach homes by midnight Friday. Authorities soon ordered mandatory evacuations, street by street, for neighborhoods in Burbank closest to Verdugo Mountain Park.

Federal officials say one of the worst wildfire seasons in the U.S.is likely to continue scorching western states and blanket large swaths with smoke until cooler weather patterns with rain or snow arrive later in the fall.

Officials announced that 300 homes have been evacuated in Burbank, 250 in Glendale and 180 in Los Angeles.

  • Joey Payne