A brush fire threatened homes in the Sun Valley area Friday, blackening about 1,500 acres, forcing evacuations and shutting down a stretch of a major freeway as hundreds of firefighters struggled to bring the blaze under control.
The fire broke out for unknown reasons about 1:25 p.m. near the 10800 block of La Tuna Canyon Road, just south of the Foothill (210) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
About a half-acre of medium brush was on fire when the first crews arrived. Wind-blown embers sparked a spot fire on the north side of the freeway and by 4 p.m., firefighters were battling flames on both sides of the freeway as the fire raced up a hillside of the Verdugo Mountains in the direction of Burbank.
There were no reports of injuries or structure damage as of 6 p.m., but around 50 homes were threatened and another 200 had been evacuated in the Reverie Canyon and Haines Canyon areas, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
An LAFD official said an area of concern was homes above the freeway from Honolulu Avenue to Crestline Drive in the Reverie Canyon area.
The DeBell Golf Course at 1500 E. Walnut Ave. in Burbank was evacuated, according to the Burbank Police Department, which reported portions of Walnut Avenue and Harvard Road were closed.
An evacuation shelter was established at Verdugo Hills High School but was later moved to the Sunland Recreation Center at 8651 Foothill Blvd. in Sunland.
Crews on scene reported the blaze had the potential to scorch 2,000 acres as thunderstorms in the area mountain caused erratic winds. The temperature at the scene was 106 degrees at 5 p.m., according to the LAFD’s Margaret Stewart.
Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles.
The fire prompted the shutdown of the Foothill Freeway eastbound at the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway and westbound at the Glendale (2) Freeway.
Transition roads were also closed from the eastbound Ronald Reagan Freeway to the eastbound Foothill Freeway, the northbound Glendale Freeway to the westbound Foothill Freeway, the northbound Glendale Freeway at the Ventura (134) Freeway and the east- and westbound Ventura Freeway to the northbound Glendale Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP had no estimate on when the closures would be lifted.
Around 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, according to Stewart. About 260 of those were from the LAFD, she said. The Los Angeles County, Angeles National Forest, Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank fire departments also sent units to help with the air and ground fire attack and structure protection.
–City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: