Crews increased containment of the Tick Fire in Canyon Country to 82% Monday.
The fire, which started at 1:24 p.m. Thursday, was holding at 4,615 acres burned, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department and Cal Fire officials. Containment had stood at 78% as of Monday morning.
The latest damage assessments found 29 structures destroyed, including 24 residences, one commercial/residential structure and four outbuildings. A total of 44 structures were damaged by the flames — 38 residences, two commercial/residential structures and four outbuildings, officials said.
More than 500 firefighters remained on the scene Monday, putting out hot spots and continuing to clear containment lines of vegetation around the burn area.
More Santa Ana conditions were forecast to begin Tuesday night into Thursday.
A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service to denote a high risk of wildfires as a result of high winds and low humidity was in effect in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday. Along the Los Angeles County coast, the San Gabriel Valley and Santa Monica Mountains, it went into effect at 10 p.m. Sunday.
Wind-prone areas were forecast to have gusts between 50-70 mph, with isolated gusts of 80 mph in the mountains, National Weather Service forecasters said.
“This Santa Ana wind event will likely be the strongest we have seen so far this season,” according to a weather service statement. “These strong winds combined with a long duration of single digit humidities … and dry fuels will likely bring very critical fire weather conditions, making this an extreme Red Flag Warning event.”
Southern California Edison is warning that thousands of its customers may have their power shut off as part of the “Public Safety Power Shutoff” program.
The program targets areas where weather conditions “may create the potential for elevated fire risk,” SCE reported. More information is available at www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps.
Four firefighters suffered minor injuries during the course of the blaze.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency Sunday in response to fires across the state, freeing up state resources to assist in the firefighting effort. County Board of Supervisors chair Janice Hahn issued a local emergency declaration Friday.
“We are deploying every resource available, and are coordinating with numerous agencies as we continue to respond to these fires,” Newsom said.
Newsom met with first responders, health officials and residents in Los Angeles and elsewhere last week, and held public briefings about the need to hold utilities accountable for decisions to shut down power.
All road closures and mandatory evacuations were lifted as of Sunday at 6 p.m.
The last evacuation center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Valencia, was closed as of midday Sunday. The Local Assistance Center at the Santa Clarita Activities Center was scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Wednesday through Monday.
The Castaic Animal Care Center at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road in Castaic was no longer receiving evacuated animals as of 6 p.m. Sunday.
The blaze began Thursday near the 31600 block of Tick Canyon Road, earning it the moniker “Tick Fire,” according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Initially reported at 200 acres, it rapidly grew to more than 850 acres in less than an hour, fire officials said.
Investigators were in the early phases of working to determine the cause of the blaze.
“We’re in the preliminary phases of cause investigation,” Los Angeles Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda told City News Service on Sunday.
About 11:30 a.m. Saturday, a public works employee “stumbled across” human remains around Sand Canyon Road and Thompson Ranch Drive, said Deputy Morgan Arteaga of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. Sheriff’s homicide detectives responded to the scene, she said, but it was believed the skeletal remains had been there about a year, concealed in brush and exposed by the blaze.
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