A fire that has burned 4,615 acres in Canyon Country and destroyed 29 structures was 98% contained by lines of cleared vegetation Wednesday despite high Santa Ana winds forecast through Thursday when full containment was expected.
“Until this fire is 100% contained, increasing fire behavior is always a potential risk,” Los Angeles County fire officials said in their latest statement.
There were 122 firefighters on scene patrolling fire lines and spot checking for hot spots within the burned area to prevent a rekindle with the current high winds, officials said. Additional resources were available should they be needed.
The fire destroyed 29 structures — 23 residences, one commercial/residential structure and five outbuildings and damaged 45 structures, including 40 residences, according to damage estimates.
An assistance center for people affected by the fire was opened at the Santa Clarita Activities Center, 20880 Centre Point Parkway. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Monday and will offer information and assistance on topics such as property cleanup/repair, filing insurance claims and replacing records such as driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations that were lost during the fire.
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. 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.
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.
All road closures and mandatory evacuations were lifted as of 6 p.m. Sunday.
The fire started at 1:24 p.m. Thursday near the 31600 block of Tick Canyon Road, earning it the moniker “Tick Fire,” according to the fire department. Initially reported at 200 acres, it rapidly grew to more than 850 acres in less than an hour, fire officials said. Four firefighters suffered minor injuries during the course of the blaze.
A public works employee “stumbled across” human remains around Sand Canyon Road and Thompson Ranch Drive about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 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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