Los Angeles

All Evacuations Lifted for Creek Fire as Firefighters Contain the Blaze by 70 Percent

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All evacuation orders connected to the Creek Fire were lifted Friday as containment for the blaze burning in the hills above Sylmar grew to 70 percent.

Tens of thousands of residents had been forced to evacuate because of the wind-driven fire that broke out at 3:42 a.m. on Tuesday.

All evacuation orders were lifted at 6 p.m. Red-flag parking restrictions were lifted at 8 a.m. All roads have re-opened, except in the Santiago Estates mobile home park and Little Tujunga Canyon from the Middle Ranch equestrian facility to Live Oak Campground, which is only open to residents, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire has destroyed 56 homes and 49 outbuildings, damaged another 45 homes and 25 outbuildings and scorched 15,619 acres, Cal Fire reported.

Almost 2,000 firefighters and other personnel were deployed Friday against the blaze. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries Tuesday. A few customers in the general area were without power Friday. Virginia Padilla, whose family owns a ranch in Sylmar, told reporters the fire killed at least 30 of the ranch's horses.

Padilla said she and her family were able to get out of her home just in time Tuesday morning but were not able to take their horses with them. Evacuation orders first issued Tuesday affected about 150,000 households citywide, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said "thousands upon thousands of homes" had been protected over the past few days. An estimated 2,500 structures were threatened by the Creek Fire at one point, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which was fighting the blaze in a unified command with the Los Angeles city and county fire departments.

All Los Angeles Unified School District schools in the San Fernando Valley and some on Los Angeles' Westside -- a total of 265 district schools and charter schools -- were closed Friday. Classes resumed Friday at Cal State Northridge and L.A. Valley College. As the fire burned on Tuesday, the Foothill (210) Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway and the Glendale (2) Freeway, but it was re-opened by Wednesday afternoon, though some freeway ramps remained closed, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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