Wildfire ignited by deadly plane crash continues to spread

A wildfire sparked by a deadly plane crash continued to grow Monday, destroying a dozen homes, spurring more evacuations and drawing fire crews from across the Southland.

The Canyon fire started Sunday morning when a small plane crashed just south of Tehachapi, killing the two occupants. Burning through chaparral, grass and woodlands in sometimes steep terrain, it had blackened 8,644 acres by Monday night and was 10% contained.

More than 1,200 state and county firefighters were battling the blaze with the help of six water-dropping helicopters and seven air tankers. A DC-10 that had once been a passenger plane dropped fire retardant.

“We do have a lot of concern,” said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “This afternoon the fire did make a run. It has been growing pretty significantly.”


Ron Oatman, a public information officer on the fire, said about 170 residences have been evacuated. In addition to the burned homes, mostly along Blackburn Canyon Road, 15 outbuildings were destroyed.

About 650 residences are threatened by the fire, which has been fanned by modest winds and is moving to the southeast. Two firefighters were injured.

Several small brush fires broke out elsewhere Monday, including one near North Mandeville Canyon Road in Los Angeles that had burned about 10 acres and was 50% contained Monday night. No buildings were damaged.

Another threatened several homes in the Agua Dulce area. By 4 p.m. the blaze had charred about 500 acres, according to Inspector Matt Levesque of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “This is still a very dynamic fire, and it’s moving so quickly,” he said.


The blaze broke out about 1:30 p.m. along Wagon Wheel Road. When firefighters arrived, they found a barn and trailer burning as flames moved quickly into the nearby brush. Two people, a firefighter and a civilian, sustained minor injuries in the blaze.

The wildfire was moving southeast toward Vasquez Rocks Park, Inspector Don Kunitomi said. The department urged residents who lived downwind to evacuate and move their horses. As of 9 p.m., the blaze was 30% contained.

Small fires were also reported in the Verdugo Mountains, on Vinevalley Drive near Sun Valley and near 2200 N. Canyonback Road in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Times staff writer Ann Simmons contributed to this report.

Get our Essential California newsletter
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.