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Breaking News UPDATE: Sand Fire Burns 38,000 Acres, Most of 20,000 People Evacuated Return Home

  • By Chuck Lyons

  Santa Clarita -- A brush fire started at 2:11 p.m. on July 22, 2016 at northbound 14 freeway and Sand Canyon Road in Santa Clarita and as of 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, had burned 38,000 acres (59 square miles),18 structures and there is one fatality of a civilian, according to a County of Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson.  The fire is moving mainly toward Angeles National Forest and there is 65 percent containment. Temperatures were more than 100 degrees in the fire area with some winds when it started and the fire is under investigation. It was reported by a fire spokesperson that in the first few days of the fire that the fire consumed about 10,000 football fields in size per day, although he said they have been able to save about 2,000 homes with a great cooperative effort of police and fire agencies.

  Most of more than 20,000 people and pets evacuated from more than 10,000 homes have returned home, according to county fire. There were approximately 150 police cars from County of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, City of Los Angelea Police Department, California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Unified School District helping in safety control and evacuations.

  Wildlife Waystation, a 160-acres private nonprofit animal sanctuary with about 400 animals in Sylmar, has avoided being burned due to the efforts of the fire agencies, and also many people volunteered driving their horse trailers and flatbed trailers to safely move many of animals to outside the fire danger zone to appropriate temporary living conditions, said Stacey Holman, a Wildlife Waystation spokesperson. "We are humbled by the community support, she emphasized. "When we lost power we used our generators for the animal evacuation effort so our meat supply was lost. We survive on donations and are doing our best to give normal care for these animals in very stressful conditions. We also still have to clean our area from the ashes." Holman said as of 8:45 a.m. on July 25, that four fire engines and crews were still protecting their sanctuary to watch for flareups. Animals started returning home yesterday. Financial donation and volunteer information is available at wildlifewaystation.org.

  Agencies fighting the fire are Los Angeles county and city fire departments, Angeles National Forest, Cal FIRE, and arriving on July 25, were from Orange County, Ventura County and San Bernardino County and more than 100 fire engines and crews from throughout California traveled to the Sand fire.  The county fire department spokesperson said there are more than 300 fire engines, nearly 3,000 personnel, 42 camp crews, 21 helicopters from Los Angeles county, Los Angeles city, and Angeles National Forest, eight fixed-wing planes, eight bulldozers and two water tenders working on the fire.

  Ashes from the fire at times are coating the San Gabriel Valley like snow in some areas. People are warned to clean ashes from all their car windows before driving. South Coast Air Quality District has issued a warning for the west and east San Gabriel Valley to avoid outdoor activities due to falling ashes from the fire.

 

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