CASTAIC – The Charlie Fire north of Castaic was 72 percent contained Tuesday after charring almost 3,400 acres of brush since Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Crews worked to improve containment lines in the early morning hours with night flying aircraft available to support ground crews, if needed, according to a statement from the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire broke out around 2:40 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, on Charlie Canyon Road. An estimated 20 to 30 homes along San Francisquito Canyon Road were evacuated and one firefighter suffered minor injuries, according to Cal Fire and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
All evacuation orders were lifted Sunday evening. A section of San Francisquito Canyon Road was closed as a precaution, but was re-opened about 6 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24. Lake Hughes Road was closed above the main boat launch to Dry Gulch Road.
The fire initially scorched a few acres at the top of a ridge, but then quickly spread as the first firefighters arrived at 2:44 p.m. Saturday, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron said. That crew called for a third-alarm response that drew about 120 firefighters, aided by three water-dropping helicopters and two Super Scooper tank airplanes.
The blaze mowed through rough chaparral and scattered trees east of Castaic Lake and north of Santa Clarita, spreading to an estimated 3,000 acres within four hours on Saturday evening.
Firefighters made progress overnight Saturday through Sunday morning, as temperatures dropped and humidity rose, helping to hold the flames in check.
Limited recreational boating was allowed on the eastern part of the lake, while the western part was off limits so aircraft could scoop up water to drop on the fire.
At one point, about 100 homes were threatened, but no structures were damaged.
The Castaic Sports Complex in the 31000 block of Castaic Road was designated as the evacuation center. The center was closed Sunday evening and all air support was released from the scene, the county fire department said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department sent a 22-person strike team, along with a helicopter, to battle the inferno, spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Full containment was expected by Friday, Sept. 28, officials said.