A brush fire that may have been sparked by illegal fireworks and has scorched about 1,300 acres near the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway in Santa Clarita was about 30% contained Monday afternoon, and all evacuation orders were lifted.
About 400 firefighters and three helicopters remained on duty overnight working to put out flames and clear lines of vegetation to contain them, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Sky Cornell said.
No injuries were reported and no homes were damaged by the Soledad Fire, authorities said, but two outbuildings were destroyed.
At one point Sunday, flames threatened nine homes in rural Agua Dulce Canyon, prompting them to be evacuated. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, evacuees who went to an evacuation center at Victory Outreach in Palmdale were asked to stay in their cars.
Roughly 200 to 250 people were advised to prepare to leave their homes if conditions worsened, according to county Fire Chief Deputy David Richardson.
But by 2 p.m. Monday, all evacuation orders were lifted, and the sheriff’s department assisted with repopulating the area to residents with proper identification.
The fast-moving Soledad Fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, pushed by winds of 20-30 mph, Richardson said.
The flames skirted the 14 Freeway, burning near Soledad Canyon and Agua Dulce Canyon Roads and jumped over the freeway in a couple of places only to have those spots put out quickly by firefighters, he said.
Initially, the northbound 14 was closed at Agua Dulce Canyon and southbound lanes were shut down at Soledad Canyon, the California Highway Patrol reported. The southbound lanes were reopened at 11:55 p.m. Sunday and northbound lanes 1 and 2 were reopened.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Richardson noted that illegal fireworks could be seen in the area as firefighters worked Sunday evening.
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