Los Angeles

Wind-Driven Rye Fire Contained by 50 Percent

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The 5-day-old Rye Fire in Santa Clarita was 50 percent contained Friday, but firefighters are bracing for a week-long battle, with Cal Fire predicting full containment by next Friday.

The blaze broke out about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday near the 2500 block of Rye Canyon Loop, and -- driven by gusty Santa Ana winds -- has scorched 6,049 acres, destroyed one structure, threatened 5,460 others, and caused burn injuries to a firefighter, authorities said. The firefighter, who may have been an inmate, was airlifted to a burn center for treatment.

All evacuations and road closures issued as a result of the fire have been lifted, and the College of the Canyons evacuation site has been deactivated, officials said.

About 900 firefighters from the Ventura County and Los Angeles County fire departments were on scene attacking the fire Thursday, Cal Fire officials said.

The fire's size originally was estimated at about 7,000 acres, but has been downsized to 6,049 acres after precision mapping was conducted, CalFire reported.

Residents of the Valencia Travel Village RV park at 27946 Henry Mayo Drive in Castaic began returning to their homes after evacuations were lifted Wednesday.

The fire prompted the evacuation of about 5,000 people from about 1,300 homes and the temporary closure of sections of the 5 Freeway and state Route 126.

Authorities reminded residents that the Disaster Distress Helpline, a 24- hour national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for those affected by the fires, is accessible at (800) 985-5990.

With hot and windy conditions expected for several days, authorities instructed residents to call 911 if they see smoke

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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