What You Need to Know
- Route Fire starts Wednesday afternoon next to 5 Freeway in Castaic.
- The fire spread uphill, forcing the complete closure of Freeway 5 in northern Los Angeles County.
- Firefighters battled blazes in triple-digit temperatures during one of the hottest stretches of the year in Southern California.
A mandatory evacuation was ordered as a bonfire blazed near the 5 Freeway north of Los Angeles on the day extreme late summer heat in Southern California.
It Fire Route burned at least 3,000 hectares near the freeway in Castaic, forcing full closure from the main north-south route between Southern and Northern California through the state’s Central Valley at approximately 1:30 p.m Fire reported near Lake Hughes Road.
Details of how the fire started were not immediately available.
“We don’t expect any arrests at this point,” said Craig Little of the LA County Fire Department.
Little also said that there were reports of seven firefighters suffering heat injuries.
Evacuations were ordered for Paradise Mobile Estates and all homes or businesses south of the Templin Highway along Upper Ridge Route Road. All residents were ordered to start evacuating north, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff said.
Evacuations ordered in these areas:
- Paradise Mobile Estates
- All homes and businesses south of the Templin Highway along the Upper Ridge Route Road
- Structures north of Lake Hughes Road, east of Golden Station (5) Freeway
- Northlake Elementary School
LA County Superintendent Kathryn Barger representing the Fifth District tweeted that Northlake Elementary School would be evacuating all students and staff on campus due to the fire.
Traffic heading north is supported through areas north of Los Angeles County.
Several resistant and water-dropping aircraft are on site.
Bushfires blaze near Freeway 5 north of Los Angeles on a very hot day in late summer in Southern California.
The fires flared at the start of what is expected to be the warmest part of the year in Southern California. Temperatures in the 90s and 100s are forecast through Labor Day weekend.
It hottest temperature Estimated Sunday and Monday. Expanding triple-digit heat will blanket valleys and hinterlands.
The midday temperature in Castaic is around 100 degrees. Wind speed 13 to 17 mph.
Fuel moisture levels are well below historical averages in parts of Southern California, meaning vegetation is drying out more quickly this year. Dry vegetation is one of the important factors in the spread of forest fires.
The state will experience one of the driest late winters on record, leaving hillsides covered in dry bush.
California continues to face a longer wildfire season as a direct result of climate change, according to CAL FIRE.