Robert Bresnick, 67, was discovered dead about 7:20 p.m. Saturday inside a burned car parked in a driveway outside a home in the 26700 block of Iron Canyon Road in Santa Clarita.
Bresnick was visiting a friend when evacuation orders went out to residents, said Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. But Bresnick was apparently “uncooperative,” and did not want to leave, he said.
Firefighters reported progress Tuesday in the battle against the Sand fire that has scorched the Santa Clarita Valley and cast a pall over parts of Los Angeles County.
The blaze grew slightly to 37,473 acres, but more than 3,000 firefighters worked through the night and were able to make some progress. The fire is now 25% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Although the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department allowed most residents to return home Monday evening, hundreds of residents in three areas were still under evacuation orders.
Driving through the tiny town of Acton, nearly every roadway is blocked going into the canyons and mountains. Fire trucks line the street here and firefighters sleep in the city park.
Tony Stubbins lives full-time in his RV, a dream he and his wife long had. His wife died a few years ago, and he kept to their plan.
He stays in his RV at the Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon campsite near Acton, a site he's been around since he was a kid. On Sunday, Stubbins, 61, and the others in RVs were evacuated as the Sand fire burned closer.
"The sky turned yellow," Stubbins said. He knew the flames were near, and the sun was reflecting off them.
"The sheriff came through," Stubbins said, "and said, 'Everybody's got to go.'"
He grabbed his campsite neighbor, who was staying in a tent, and fled down Crown Valley Road, amid a traffic jam of RVs.
In the four decades he's lived in the Acton area, he said, "this is the worst fire I've ever seen. It just keeps changing directions."
On Monday afternoon, Stubbins and a few others who live in RVs were perched on chairs on the front porch outside the Original Acton Market, shooting the breeze with anyone who walked in. He parked his RV outside and stayed there for the night.
The store owners, evacuees said, kept the shop open late, even as nearby businesses closed and employees left to evacuate.