Hundreds of Homes Evacuated as La Tuna Fire Scorches 5,800 Acres

About 800 firefighters from numerous departments are battling the blaze

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Hundreds of homes have been evacuated and an 11-mile stretch of the 210 Freeway remain shut down Saturday as the La Tuna Fire scorched 5,800 acres and three structures in the Sun Valley area.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the blaze is "the largest fire in the history of LA city in terms of its acreage," at a press conference Saturday morning.

Garcetti signed a Declaration of Local Emergency Saturday evening. 

About 800 firefighters from numerous departments are battling the blaze, which sparked for unknown reasons at approximately 1:25 p.m. Friday near the 10800 block of La Tuna Canyon Road.

Wind-blown embers sparked a spot fire on the north side of the 210 and by 4 p.m. Friday, firefighters were battling flames on both sides of the freeway as the fire raced up a hillside of the Verdugo Mountains in the direction of Burbank.

Erratic winds are feeding the flames, which expanded from 1,500 acres to 3,000 as the fire raced uphill on the Verdugo Mountains overnight. As of 10 p.m. Saturday, the blaze had spread across 5,800 acres and was 10 percent contained, according to the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated Friday and Saturday morning, and one home was destroyed Saturday before noon in the Tujunga area. "The home was at the end of a road with a draw on either side that allowed the fire to run right up," read a statement from LAFD. Two other structures were also destroyed. 

Two firefighters suffered dehydration. They were taken to a local hospital and are in stable condition, fire officials said at a Saturday evening news conference.

Approximately 50 homes were threatened as the blaze turned toward residential areas in Burbank late Friday night, prompting mandatory evacuations. Burbank police went door to door to issue evacuations to inform residents who stayed behind, or who were unaware of the threat.

"Right now the evacuation orders affect 300 homes in Burbank, more than 250 in Glendale, 180 in the city of Los Angeles," Garcetti said around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

A full list of evacuations and evacuation centers can be found here.

All Burbank evacuations were lifted Saturday at 10 p.m., but new evacuations were ordered overnight for the Castleman Estates as the fire slowly crept downhill toward homes.

"Pets are welcome at the shelters too, so don't leave your pets behind, we will make sure we accommodate them as well," Garcetti said.

The city of Glendale urged evacuees with pets to go to Crescenta Valley High School, where the Pasadena Humane Society has set up facilities.

The westbound 210 Freeway remained closed between the 2 Freeway and Sunland Boulevard, while eastbound lanes were closed between Sunland Boulevard and Lowell Avenue Sunday morning.

Transition roads were also closed from the eastbound 118 Freeway to the eastbound 210 Freeway, the northbound 2 Freeway to the westbound 210 Freeway, the northbound 2 Freeway at the Ventura (134) Freeway and the eastbound and westbound 134 Freeway to the northbound 2 Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP had no estimate on when the closures would be lifted.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District advised of unhealthy air quality in several areas due to the fire. People living in the areas of the west San Gabriel Valley, east San Fernando Valley, east San Gabriel Valley, San Gabriel Mountains, Glendale area and the San Fernando Valley were urged to limit exercise and time outside. 

City News Service contributed to this report.

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