The Sand Fire Is Now 40 Percent Contained
The Sand Fire, which has now burned 38,346 acres, is now about 40 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, according to an official incident report. There are nearly 3,000 firefighters involved in combating the massive blaze, working in grueling temperatures in the low 100s. In a spot of good news, increased humidity in the area is helping firefighters gain control over the fire, according to CBS Los Angeles.
County health officials are warning that the air quality in the areas of Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Fernando Valley will continue to be poor. Residents should stay inside and should not use any wood-burning appliances or swamp coolers, according to City News Service.
The fire began in the hills of Santa Clarita on Friday afternoon, turning the skies into an eerie, Apocalyptic scene. By Saturday, the fire had burned through 5,500 acres. By Sunday morning, that number had increased to 22,000 acres.
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors declared a state of local emergency. Acting California Governor Tom Torlakson (Governor Jerry Brown is at the Democratic National Convention) also issued an emergency declaration for the county later that day.
About 20,000 people had been evacuated, though most orders were lifted Monday evening. There has been one fatality so far. Robert Bresnick, 67, was found in a burned car. Neighbors said he had refused evacuation orders and instead went back home to rescue his dogs.
Eighteen homes have been destroyed, as well as a film set on Sable Ranch. The set contained several Old West-style structures, and was used for such productions as 24, The A-Team and Maverick, Variety reports. And if you're a horror buff, you might have recognized the stable from the 1980 horror-comedy film Motel Hell.
If for some reason you are thinking about getting some sweet fire footage with your drone, do not do that. Fire crewscannot fly over wildfires and do their jobs if drones are spotted in the area. Drone activity has been spotted in the Pacoima Reservoir Area and Sheriff's Deputies are working to put an end to it.
Those looking to keep up with the latest information on the fire, including containment, evacuations and reopenings can view updates on InciWeb here.