5,000 Acre La Tuna Canyon Fire Burns One Home, Evacuations Continue [Updated]
Updated 12:31 p.m.: The La Tuna Canyon Fire continues to burn upwards of 5,000 acres and has engulfed one home, according to the L.A. Times. Fire officials expect the fire to grow if the heat and erratic weather conditions continue. The fire is 10% contained and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said the last fire in the area was 30 years ago, which means "There is a lot of unburned fuel." Mandatory and voluntary evacuations have continued, with 730 homes evacuated across Burbank, Glendale, and the city of L.A., according to CBS.
A fire erupted near Burbank Friday afternoon and grew to 2,000 acres Friday evening, prompting the evacuation of residents of Brace Canyon Park. The fire has since grown to 5,000 acres and has been confirmed as the largest by acreage in Los Angeles City history, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The fire started on La Tuna Canyon road in Sun Valley Friday afternoon. High winds created spot fires near the 210 Freeway and LAFD attempted to prevent the fire from hopping the freeway, anticipating it would burn at least 2,000 acres if it happened. The fire department was unable to contain the fire, and it grew to that size by Friday evening, according to the L.A. Times. The mandatory evacuations affected approximately 200 homes, according to CNN.
The Burbank Police Department also ordered the evacuation of the Stough Canyon Nature Center and closed DeBell Golf Club, according to the LAFD. No homes have been damaged and no injuries reported. The 210 Freeway remains closed on both sides at La Tuna Canyon road.
At a certain point, firefighters were dealing with 40 mph winds and flames 100 feet in height, according to the L.A. Times. Firefighters were initially worried about homes north of the 210 freeway, according to ABC, but a little bit of Friday afternoon rain pushed the storm in the opposite direction.
In a press conference Saturday, LAFD Capt. Branden Silverman said the fire is slow-moving but the heat and high wind are creating dangerous conditions. The department is "constantly evaluating" the need for further evacuations. Los Angeles has seen record-breaking heat all week, and firefighters are battling the fire in "106-degree temperatures today with low relative humidity" on "very steep and rugged terrain," according to Silverman.
The smoke plumes are visible for miles, and ash has reportedly fallen on Glendale and Burbank, according to the L.A. Times.