Historic Movie Ranch Destroyed in Sand Fire

The meadows and canyons of Sable Ranch have been used for TV shows since the 1960s

Workers at a movie ranch counted their blessings Monday while mopping up embers and watching for hot spots after the vicious Sand Fire ripped through the ranch north of Hollywood over the weekend.

The wildfire destroyed movie sets at the 450-acre, Old West-style town at the Sable Ranch, but caused no injuries to people or animals.

Manager Derek Hunt said he's devastated by the loss but is thankful that lives were spared by the flames on Sunday. The fire in the Santa Clarita Valley burned over 51 square miles and was 10 percent contained by Monday afternoon.

"It's a mixed blessing," he said. "It's tough, the loss of history, decades of filming. It's gone just like that."

The ranch's herd of 20 cows, 15 horses and chickens were saved.

"At the end of the day those are all huge positives," he said.

Hunt said he and his crew were the first line of defense as flames whipped by ferocious winds ran through the property on Sunday afternoon.

The fire started Friday afternoon near Sand Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, along the northbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Roosevelt Johnson told reporters at a morning news briefing.

The fast-moving fire has destroyed at least 18 homes while about 10,000 homes — occupied by an estimated 20,000 residents — have been evacuated. It may also have claimed a life.

Crews tried to put out the flames at Sable Ranch using their own water trucks until firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service arrived.

"We were trying to slow it down," Hunt said. "It came in fast. If you blinked your eye, you woulda missed it."

The meadows and canyons of Sable Ranch have been used for TV shows dating to the 1960s. Among them, "The A-Team, "24" and "Motel Hell."

Hunt said several sets were destroyed, some of them being used to film new shows such as "Utopia" and "Ultimate Beastmaster."

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