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Photos: Massive Sand Fire Produces Eerie Skies, Scatters Ash Over Los Angeles [Updated]

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A raging wildfire that broke out in the hillsides of Santa Clarita Friday afternoon has scorched more than 5,500 acres as of Saturday morning, producing an eerie, orange haze and scattering ash over much of Los Angeles.

Dubbed the "Sand Fire,"KTLA reports that the fire broke out around 2:10 p.m. Friday along the northbound side of the 14 Freeway near Sand Canyon Road. Mandatory evacuations were put in place, affecting more than 300 homes in Little Tujunga Canyon.

The Wildlife Waystation is also in the process of evacuating the 400-plus animals who live there, as per Facebook. The Waystation is asking people who have flatbed trucks or enclosed trailers for help in transporting the animals, and are trying to find an air-conditioned warehouse to temporarily house them. Those who can help are advised to meet in the 7-Eleven parking lot at 11348 Sunburst St in Lake View Terrace as the road up to the Waystation might be closed. There are lots of beautiful, amazing animals there so we hope that this scary and dangerous-sounding enterprise of transporting them goes smoothly and safely.

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This time lapse of the fire taken last night is both mesmerizing and terrifying:

So far, no injuries have been reported, and only one structure has been reported as destroyed by the fire, according to a U.S. Forest Service spokesman.

National Weather Service meteorologist Robbie Munroe told the Daily News, "There will be some gusty winds. There is a very good combination—dry and hot conditions...with dry brush. It’s certainly a dangerous combination for critical fire weather."

More than 300 firefighters are working to put out the blaze, which is at 0% containment. And the weather conditions are only going to make it more difficult—temperatures are expected in the triple digits today. "It’s going to be hotter," Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Gustavo Medina told the Daily News. "We’ll continue our same attack. It’s going into areas difficult for personnel to access."

ABC-7 notes that plumes of smoke could be seen throughout the southland, from Orange County to the Inland Empire. Ash was particularly thick in the San Fernando Valley, but mounds of ash even blanketed parts of central Los Angeles. It's definitely looking apocalyptic out there:

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a smoke advisory for the Santa Clarita, San Gabriel, and San Fernando Valleys, and for central L.A. An evacuation center has been set up at Golden Valley High School, 27051 Robert C. Lee Pkwy., in Santa Clarita, and a shelter for large animals are available at the Agua Dulce Airport, Wayside Jail in Castaic and Pierce College in Woodland Hills.

Updated, 12:03 p.m.: City News Service reports that the Sand Fire has now burned at least 11,000 acres, double the reported acreage burned as of just a couple of hours ago. It's 10% contained, and one firefighter has suffered a minor injury.

Metrolink also said that their Antelope Valley trains will be experiencing 35 to 50 minute delays because of speed restrictions implemented by the fire. Poor air quality and falling as in Glendale has also led to the closure of the Pacific Pool.

Updated, 5:07 p.m.: Here are some more photos we saw on social media of the crazy skies in Los Angeles today....#NoFilter, to boot:


A view of the smoke from East Hollywood, submitted by LAist reader James Elliot Bailey.