California's Saddleridge Fire Claims Its First Fatality
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The Saddleridge Fire, which has burned about 4,700 acres of northern Los Angeles since Thursday evening, claimed its first fatality Friday morning.
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Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas told a news conference that the unidentified victim was a civilian male who died of cardiac arrest. He said a firefighter also suffered a minor eye injury, according to KTLA-TV.
The Saddleridge Fire was zero percent contained, Terrazas added.
More Than 1,000 Firefighters Continue to Battle the Blaze
More than 1,000 LA county and municipal firefighters continue to battle the blaze in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. Other fire-fighting resources include ground crews, helicopters and amphibious firefighting aircraft.
The fire started about 9 p.m. Thursday on the north side of the 210 Freeway, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. "Spot fires soared over the 210 and 5 freeways and ignited more dry brush," the newspaper added.
The wind-driven blaze moved west into Granada Hills and Porter Ranch, where dozens of homes burned, the Times said.
Saddleridge Fire Prompts Mandatory Evacuation Order, Delays and Closures
At least 13,000 area residents are under a mandatory evacuation order, including the following areas of Sylmar and Granada Hills:
- Oakridge Estates north of 210 Freeway
- Foothill and Glenoaks areas
- All of Porter Ranch
- Areas north of the 118 Freeway between Granada Hills and the Ventura County line
Rail passengers in the area are encountering numerous delays and disruptions. Many local schools are closed.
Fire Moving North Friday Toward Santa Clarita
The Saddleridge Fire was moving in a northerly direction toward the city of Santa Clarita Friday morning, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Dave Richardson announced.
“In addition to that, it continues to burn not only through the city but unincorporated Los Angeles County toward Browns Canyon, Twin Lakes community,” he said.
Fire Evacuation Centers Set Up for Residents and Pets
Evacuation centers at Mason Park, the Sylmar Recreation Center and the Granada Hills Recreation Center were filled to capacity by Friday morning and could not accept any more residents.
Evacuation centers were open for people and small pets at the Northridge Recreation Center located at 18300 Lemarsh Street and the Lanark Recreation Center, located at 21816 Lanark Street in Canoga Park.
Large animals are being accepted at Hansen Dam, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.