Santa Clarita Valley brush fire grows to 1,100 acres and is 49% contained
Cal Fire-San Diego firefighter Capt. Angel Hendrieat the Sage fire on Sunday.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles County firefighter Joseph Valencia works on Sunday to mop up a portion of the Sage fire that officials say threatened 700 homes in Stevenson Ranch and is 20% contained in Santa Clarita. Evacuations have been lifted, but officials are monitoring hot spots as the hot, dry afternoon winds pick up.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles County firefighter Joseph Valencia works in Santa Clarita on Sunday to mop up a portion of the Sage fire, which has burned 800 acres, according to officials.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Former firefighter Jared Yochim throws dirt on fire spots near Sagecrest Circle as a fire burns through Newhall, CA.(Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)
Sagecrest Circle resident Harrison Koury, 16, shovels dirt onto burning spots in the backyard of his home as a brushfire burned through the neighborhood.(Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)
A fast-moving wildfire threatens homes on Sagecrest Circle in Newhall on Saturday. Several hundred homes have been evacuated.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Retardant covers a home as a fire burns through Newhall, CA.(Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)
Jason Viger of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department rushes with a garden hose to water down a hot spot that threatens a home on Coriander Court.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Residents evacuate a home on Coriander Court in Newhall on Saturday as smoke from a fast-moving blaze engulfs homes.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
LA County Sheriff Jason Viger hoses down a hot spot as fire threatens a home on Coriander Ct. as a fast moving brush fire forces evacuations in the neighborhood.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A water-dropping helicopter hovers near Sagecrest Circle.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
About 700 firefighters on Sunday continued to battle a brush fire in the Santa Clarita Valley that has grown to more than 1,100 acres, officials said.
The Sage fire is 49% contained, said Inspector Gustavo Medina of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
A small home caught fire in the burn area Sunday, but it was unclear whether that was the result of embers from the brush fire, Medina said.
No other structures or homes have been damaged and are no longer threatened. The fast-moving brush fire forced about 2,000 residents to evacuate when it broke out shortly after noon Saturday.
All of the residents have since been allowed to return to their homes, Medina said.
But with forecasters warning of increased winds, firefighters are bracing for a prolonged firefight.
“With the weather changing, we’re doing as much as we can,” Medina said.
On Saturday, more than 1,200 county and city firefighters aggressively attacked the blaze that was fueled by hot temperatures and winds of up to 25 mph. They were aided by a DC-10 aircraft that dropped fire retardant near the fire’s perimeter.
Officials reported that two firefighters, including one inmate firefighter, suffered minor injuries.
Firefighters were aided Sunday by low winds and cooler temperatures.
Several media outlets have reported that a car that veered off an embankment sparked the blaze. But Medina said that the cause was still under investigation.
Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of arson, and several arson investigators have been dispatched to the scene, Medina said.
“We are having to battle with Mother Nature,” Medina said. “The winds are blowing and the terrain is challenging. The firefighters are in dense, heavy brush, and after a five-year drought, all this vegetation is prime and ready to burn.”
Hot, dry and windy weather could encourage the fire’s growth Sunday. The region will see temperatures in the low 90s, about 20% humidity and gusts of up to 30 mph at high altitudes, said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
On Monday, windy and warm conditions are expected to continue, but some wind currents could bring wet ocean air to the area, which would lower temperatures and bring much needed moisture to the air, Munroe said.
7:42 p.m.: This article has been updated with additional details on the size and containment of the fire.
5:08 p.m.: This article has been updated with new information regarding the number of firefighters battling the blaze and more details about weather conditions.
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