/Saddleridge fire erupts overnight north of LA, consuming 4,600 acres and forcing thousands to evacuate

Saddleridge fire erupts overnight north of LA, consuming 4,600 acres and forcing thousands to evacuate

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Evacuation orders were in place for thousands of homes near Sylmar and Ganada Hills, in north Los Angeles, as the Saddleridge fire burned nearby.
USA TODAY

A wildfire whipped by the treacherous Santa Ana winds jumped two freeways northwest of Los Angeles overnight Friday and forced the evacuation of more than 13,000 homes.

Several homes were set ablaze in the Granada Hills, and the Los Angeles fire department said an “unknown number” of homes were at risk.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Saddleridge fire, driven by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds that sweep down from the deserts and across coastal Southern California, erupted late Thursday and quickly swelled to more than 4,600 acres, according to fire officials.

A red flag warning was in effect in Southern California through Friday evening, with winds expected to reach as high as 60 mph and some gusts hitting 70 mph in the mountains.

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The fire, which began in Sylmar, the northernmost neighborhood of Los Angeles, forced the closing of the 210 Freeway and the 5 Freeway.

Southern California Edison, worried that its equipment could spark more fires, shut down power to about 20,000 people in the area and warned that thousands more could lose electricity as the fire grows.

Power outages

More than 250,000 customers were without power in the state Friday morning, the overwhelming majority from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The biggest outage, accounting for more than than 30,000 customers, was in Nevada County, located in the Tahoe National Forest by the Nevada border. More than 25,000 customers had no electricity in El Dorado County, located near the Eldorado National Forest in northeast California.

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Evacuation map

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for about 13,000 homes. The Los Angeles fire department posted an evacuation map of the Saddleridge fire, which has spread to more than 4,000 acres.

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