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Brush fire threatens homes in Burbank, prompts mandatory evacuations

Residents in the Burbank hillside were ordered to evacuate from their homes Saturday afternoon after a brush fire erupted in the Verdugo Mountains.

Authorities said the fire has consumed around 45 acres in the Wildwood Canyon area and there is no estimate as to when it will be contained. Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department, said the fire began around 1 p.m. near the department’s gun range.

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He said winds forced the fire onto a ridge-line, threatening around 50 to 75 homes on Country Club Drive.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for residents living along Country Club above Sunset Canyon Drive. Hikers and parkgoers at Wildwood Canyon and the Stough Nature Center were also ordered to leave the area.

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Crews from the Burbank, Los Angeles and Glendale fire departments were called in to battle the blaze. Helicopter water drops are also being utilized to help tamp down the fire.

“They’re working it pretty aggressively and it’s not spreading as fast as it could be,” Green said. “Despite the heat and the winds, it’s been slow to progress — which is good.”

The incident is the latest in a series of brush fires that have sparked all across Southern California recently as the area is currently facing a record-breaking heat wave.

Fires have destroyed homes and displaced thousands of people in Santa Barbara and San Diego counties while a fire in the San Bernardino Mountains led to the evacuation of over hundreds of residents in Forest Falls.

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