SYLMAR – The Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster opened stables for horses and other large animals that were evacuated due to the Creek Fire, a massive brush fire that broke out early Tuesday morning in the Kagel Canyon area above Sylmar.
The fire charred more than 11,000 acres, destroyed about 30 homes and prompted the evacuation of more than 100,000 people from their homes.
No fatalities were reported but three firefighters were injured Tuesday in their battle against the Creek Fire, which was zero percent contained Tuesday night. All were in stable condition, with at least two of them expected to be released from hospitals Wednesday, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The blaze broke out at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. More than 600 firefighters battled the blaze amid strong Santa Ana winds, some gusting at 70 mph.
As of Tuesday night, at least 30 homes were destroyed, about 20 of them in the Little Tujunga, Kagel Canyon and Lopez Canyon areas. The other 10 homes were within Los Angeles city limits, according to Stewart.
“Resources are fully engaged saving lives and defending property,” she said.
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, an estimated 11,377 acres had burned and 2,500 structures were threatened, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which was fighting the fire in a unified command with the Los Angeles city and county fire departments.
Three helicopters, 90 engines and two bulldozers were also deployed, according to the Forest Service.
LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas warned that the battle was likely to continue until at least Friday.
“This has only just begun,” he said Tuesday.
As the fire expanded and jumped south of the Foothill Freeway, so did the mandatory evacuation area. Seventeen evacuation centers were opened throughout the San Fernando Valley, all of which were accepting evacuees and pets. The fire also forced a mass evacuation of large animals, primarily horses but also others such as alpacas.
The fire affected a number of schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, prompting the closures of 14 campuses in the fire area.
#CreekFire On Wentworth St Be #ReadySetGo Check evac map https://t.co/RbNYbBiDRW If you are unsure what to do – evacuate Extreme wind conditions = Unpredicatble fire behavior pic.twitter.com/elyOoXC0MN
— LAFD Talk (@LAFDtalk) December 5, 2017