A brush fire that may have been sparked by illegal fireworks on Sunday afternoon has scorched about 1,300 acres near the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway in Santa Clarita and is about 30% contained Monday morning, authorities said.
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.
As of 9 a.m., the fire was listed at 1,300 acres and 30% containment. No injuries were reported and no homes were damaged, authorities said, but an assessment released after daybreak indicated that nearly 4,800 structures were threatened.
At one point on Sunday, flames threatened nine homes in rural Agua Dulce Canyon which were ordered evacuated, and 200-250 people were advised to prepare to leave their homes if conditions worsened, according to county Fire Chief Deputy David Richardson.
Evacuees were told to take small animals and report to the Victory Outreach parking lot at 37419 25th Street East in Palmdale but to stay in their cars due to COVID-19.
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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