Los Angeles County Fire Department

398 Acres Charred by Calgrove Fire; Evacuations Lifted

Firefighters in Southern California are battling a three-alarm brush fire in the Newhall area which had charred 398 acres Thursday morning.

Around 500 homes and about 1,000 people to be evacuated, however all evacuations were lifted at 11 p.m.

The blaze was 60 percent contained by Thursday, a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman said,  despite some overnight flare-ups.

The so-called Calgrove fire broke out along the northbound 5 Freeway at 1:15 p.m., in the Stevenson Ranch area, according to the LACFD. As of 10 p.m. Wednesday the fire had scorched 350 acres.

About 450 firefighters responded to the blaze by 5 p.m., joined by four air tainkers and seven helicopters. Two hand crews and a flight team from CAL FIRE are also headed north to assist with the effort, according to the agency's San Diego-area spokesman Kendal Bortisser.

Around 2 p.m., evacuations began to be ordered.

A center for evacuations was set up at West Ranch High School. Animals were taken to a private ranch after evacuation to Hart Park.

One structure was damaged, but it appeared to be just a garage, according to Tripp, the LACFD deputy chief.

The Old Road was closed to non-emergency traffic just before 2 p.m. It will remain closed overnight.

The Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park six miles away has not yet been affected other than by smoke.

CHP issued an alert to motorists traveling to the Santa Clarita area during rush hour, but all lanes were later opened.

Crews will remain on scene to extinguish the last of the flames overnight.

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California has already had 2,486 wildfires since the beginning of the year, up from 1,654 the state has averaged over the last five years, according to Cal Fire. Eighty-six hundred acres have burned.

Willian Avila, Robert Kovacik, Patrick Healy, Lolita Lopez and Michael Larkin contributed to this report.

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