A wind-driven wildfire raced through Canyon Country Thursday, quickly scorching hundreds of acres, destroying some structures and threatening more, prompting evacuations throughout the rural area.
The fire was reported early Thursday afternoon 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, the blaze rapidly grew to more than 850 acres in less than an hour. By late afternoon, county fire officials estimated the blaze at roughly 3,700 acres. At least one structure could be seen burning to the ground, and crews on scene reported multiple other structures burning or being immediately threatened by the flames.
Evacuation orders were issued for all residents north of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, east of Whites/Plum Canyon roads, south of Vasquez Canyon Road and west of Agua Dolce. Evacuations were ordered south of the 14 Freeway east of Sand Canyon, north of Placerita Canyon and west of Robinson Ranch Golf Course.
An evacuation center was set up at College of the Canyons in Valencia, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road. College of the Canyons canceled all classes at its Valencia and Canyon Country campuses.
An evacuation center for large animals was established at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave. in Woodland Hills. Small animals were being handled at the Castaic Animal Care Center, 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road, sheriff’s officials said.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
National Weather Service forecasters said winds were gusting at 45 to 55 mph in the area of the fire.
Meanwhile, another brush fire erupted several miles to the west along the Golden State (5) Freeway in the Lake Hughes area. That fire scored about five to seven acres and burned through the roof of at least one home.
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger wrote on her Twitter page late Thursday afternoon that six homes had been lost in the Castaic area as a result of the two blazes.
While crews were battling those two blazes, a third fire broke out in the Del Valle area west of the 5 Freeway. According to county fire officials, that blaze damaged a vehicle and a mobile home, along with about one acre of brush.
The series of fires erupted amid red flag conditions prompted by Santa Ana winds and single-digit humidity. The red flag warning is scheduled to remain in place until Friday night.