san fernando valley

Sepulveda Fire Stopped at 50 Acres, 80% Containment

A brush fire erupted in the Sepulveda Basin Thursday amid red-flag fire conditions, darkening 60 acres and sending a thick plume of black smoke into the air at the start of the afternoon commute.

Firefighters were able to stop the fire's growth by about 9 p.m. and expected to remain in the area overnight to monitor "hot spots."

The fire erupted just before 4:30 p.m. near the 5600 block of North Woodley Avenue.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials said the blaze burned in a southwestern direction, and residents in the Encino and Sherman Oaks area were urged to prepare for possible evacuations, given the dry, windy conditions. No evacuation orders were issued and no structures were threatened.

Burbank Boulevard was closed in both directions between Woodley Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard as the firefight continued. On- and off-ramps between Burbank Boulevard and the 405 Freeway were closed, along with the southbound 405 ramp to Victory Boulevard.

According to the LAFD, homeless people living in the area were being moved south toward the 101 Freeway.

The Sepulveda Basin has become a common camping site for the homeless, although there was no immediate indication of what sparked Thursday's blaze.

A roughly seven-acre brush fire burned in the basin in late July, displacing an estimated 100 homeless people who were living in the area.

City crews swept through the area in August and September conducting a massive cleanup operation. The fire also prompted the city to quickly approve an ordinance allowing police to clear homeless people out of fire-prone areas during red flag conditions.

It was unclear if any such clearance was done Thursday, when a red flag warning went into effect.

Meteorologists said Santa Ana winds were expected to gust through Friday evening.

The fire comes as some 80 homes were evacuated overnight in San Bernardino County as a 70-acre blaze forced road closures. A 10,000-acre blaze was also burning in the Bay Area.

Utility companies including SoCal Edison preemptively cut power to thousands of homes Thursday in an effort to diminish the threat of wildfires. See all locations here.

For a list of what to pack in an emergency bag and other fire prevention tips, click here.

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