Firefighting helicopter doing water drops on the Santa Clarita fire. Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV
Firefighting helicopter doing water drops on an earlier Santa Clarita fire, not the one that broke out Friday. Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV

Hundreds of heat-weary firefighters battled a fast-moving, wind-whipped brush fire along the northbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway in Santa Clarita Friday that burned thousands of acres within a few hours and forced people from their homes.

Freeway lanes were shut, roadways blocked and Metrolink trains delayed.

No injuries were immediately reported as a result of the blaze, which was reported at 2:11 p.m. near Sand Canyon Road. By 8 p.m. it urned about 2,500 acres with zero containment, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Fewer than 100 people were evacuated from the area of Capra Road off Soledad Canyon Road in the only evacuations caused by the fire, county fire officials said.

Evacuation shelter for residents was established at Golden Valley High School at 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway in Santa Clarita and shelter for large animals was made available at Agua Dulce Airport, Wayside Jail in Castaic and Pierce College in Woodland Hills.

Hundreds of firefighters were battling the flames from the ground and air. The Los Angeles Fire Department sent a water-dropping helicopter to join three from the county fire department. Two fixed-wing firefighting aircraft were also called in to attack the blaze. Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service were also assisting in the firefight.

The blaze, dubbed the Sand Fire, was fueled by triple-digit temperatures along with gusty winds and was burning eastward into the Angeles National Forest.

Northbound lanes of the freeway were temporarily closed south of Soledad Canyon Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Metrolink reported that service on its Antelope Valley line was halted at the Via Princessa station for about an hour.

Soledad Canyon Road was closed between the freeway and Agua Dulce Canyon Road, according to county fire department Capt. Keith Mora.

Smoke from the fire was moving southeast into the San Gabriel Valley “due to gusty northwest winds aloft,” according to the National Weather Service.

Smoke was also visible above downtown Los Angeles.

— Staff and wire reports

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