Saddle Ridge Fire burns dozens of homes in Los Angeles

Grant Boone
October 11, 2019

At least one commercial structure has been destroyed so far and several others are threatened, Fox 11 reported.

Jerry Rowe uses a garden hose to fight fires near his home in Granada Hills, California, on Thursday, October 10.

Low humidity and gusty Santa Ana winds have helped spread the fire, which broke out Thursday night near the 210 Freeway in Sylmar, and those winds are expected to continue into the afternoon Friday.

Much of Northern California, from San Francisco to the OR border, remains under a state "red flag" fire alert.

"Yes, I'm anxious, but I'm just shooting water everywhere to stop the fire from over here", the husband said. Parts of those freeways remained closed during the Friday morning commute along with portions of the 14, 118 and 405 freeways.

The Los Angeles Unified school district closed at least 15 schools and said bus service throughout the district would be delayed. One of the wildfires, named the Saddleridge Fire, exploded to 1,600 acres earlier today and is one of several blazes fuelled by gusty winds in the U.S. state.

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The fire, known as the Saddleridge fire, was at "zero"-percent containment, he told reporters, adding that helicopters have been called in".

One man in his 50s died of a heart attack amid the wildfire, according to Los Angeles Fire Department chief Ralph Terrazas.

It started when the load on a garbage truck caught on fire and spread to vegetation, Capt. Fernando Herrera of Cal Fire Riverside told CNN affiliate KABC.

Santa Ana winds gusting 20 to 35 miles per hour. "It started just eating up vegetation as fast as the eye can see", he said. The fire went from 100 to 200 acres in about 90 minutes, before almost doubling two hours later. "If you stay in [mandatory evacuation] areas we can not guarantee that we will save you".

Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's largest utility company, shut off power to thousands of customers in northern and central California this week to mitigate the risk of wildfires amid the dry, windy weather. Though customers, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, criticized the move, the utility company said it already found cases where the power lines could have sparked fires.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, and misidentified the agency he leads.

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