The fast-moving Santa Clarita brush fire forced the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway to close. Photo: OnSceneTV

Firefighters Tuesday were gaining the upper hand as they battled a massive brush fire that scorched about 800 acres and destroyed a movie-prop structure in Santa Clarita during a searing heat wave.

The fire was about 75 percent contained as of midnight, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

It was started by a traffic crash on the southbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway near the Sierra Highway off-ramp near Placerita Canyon Road and was reported at 12:47 p.m. Sunday, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher said. The flames “jumped the freeway,” according to the dispatcher.

The crash caused a tree to catch fire, and those flames spread toward Disney Ranch, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said. One structure was destroyed, she said.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, one of them heat-related, according to reports from the scene. The driver of the crashed vehicle that sparked the fire had only minor injuries.

Hundreds of firefighters were rotated into the fight in order to bring renewed energy to the battle. Temperatures were in triple digits through Tuesday, but officials hoped for a bit of cooling trend by Tuesday.

The blaze caused a power outage at Disney Ranch, cutting electricity to 76 nearby homes, Navarro-Suarez said.

Sally Jeun of Southern California Edison told City News Service the homes lost power at 3:04 p.m. Sunday due to an overhead equipment failure. Power was restored to all the homes by 3:23 p.m., Jeun said.

The blaze also prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down the Antelope Valley Freeway southbound at San Canyon Road and northward at Newhall Avenue for nearly three hours in the afternoon Sunday.

About 460 firefighters were on scene Monday from various agencies, including the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service.

At times, four water-dropping helicopters and two fixed-winged aircraft were involved in the firefighting effort.

No civilian injuries were reported, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department ordered mandatory evacuations for Disney Ranch, Tenderfoot Trail Road, Running Horse Road and Placerita Canyon.

All evacuation orders were lifted at 10 p.m. Sunday and residents were being permitted to return home, county fire announced.

–City News Service

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