The majority of the estimated 20,000 people evacuated from the Sand fire will be allowed to return home tonight, fire officials said.
The downgrade of evacuations comes as the fire grew Monday to 35,155 acres and remained 10% contained, according to the Los Angeles County fire department.
After 7 p.m., all evacuation orders will be lifted except for residents in three areas:
Placerita Canyon Road from Running Horse Lane to Pacy Street
Little Tujunga Canyon Road from the Wildlife Way Station to where Sand Canyon Road meets Placerita Canyon Road
Agua Dulce Canyon Road from just south of the 14 Freeway to the intersection with Soledad Canyon Road; and for one mile in either direction along Soledad Canyon Road from the intersection with Agua Dulce Road
It's not just humans who have fled the destruction of the Sand fire.
The blaze has displaced 165 goats, 111 chickens, 33 pigs and even a Brahma bull, which are now among the nearly 770 animals at shelters under the care of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control workers.
Eight shelters have opened for animals affected by the blaze, which broke out Friday afternoon and has raced through the canyons above Los Angeles.
Susan Hartland, executive director of Wildlife Waystation, looked through glass doors at the sanctuary in the Angeles National Forest on Monday and saw a plume of smoke coming from the back of a mountain. That's what she saw Friday, too, just before she had to start loading up lions and tigers and other assorted animals for evacuations.
"That's how it started," she said, staring at the smoke.
When the massive Sand fire erupted Friday along the 14 Freeway at Sand Canyon, 30- to 50-mph winds fanned the flames on hillsides carpeted with tinder-like chaparral, pushing them into the national forest.
The danger posed by the Sand fire depends on how close people are to the flames, said Mark Morocco, a clinical professor of emergency medicine at UCLA.
If people are close enough that the fire is actually in their neighborhood or yard, there is fine particulate matter, such as ash, that can trigger asthma and cardiac stress in people with chronic lung disease, he said.
Those who are very close also risk carbon monoxide poisoning, he added.
Bruce Sanborn, 55, and his partner, Suzi Fox, 56, and her daughter Halie Fox, 14, lost the house they’d lived in on Little Tujunga Canyon Road for 2½ years, next to Bruce’s mother’s house.
The day before the fire started, Suzi noticed a sign with a dial that said the fire danger was "critical," the highest rating. She’d never seen it that high, she said.
On Friday afternoon, they saw the smoke as they were driving home, but it seemed pretty far from where they lived. They know they live in a wildfire-prone area, but the wind was blowing in the opposite direction, so they thought they were in the clear.