southern Cali on fire

multiple freeway closures, fires, more fires, grocery strikes, and MTA strike beat Southland
Because of the potential danger of the Grand Prix Fire, authorities and the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department have initiated further mandatory evacuation of the areas east of Day Creek Boulevard and north of Banyan Street in Rancho Cucamonga. This is in addition to Thursday night’s mandatory evacuation of the Lytle Creek Canyon community.
The American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter site at the Rancho High School in Rancho Cucamonga at 11801 Lark Drive, in addition to the existing emergency shelter site at the Jesse Turner Community Center in Fontana at 6396 Citrus Ave.

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More than 3,800 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest have been scorched since the fire started Tuesday in the heavily developed area about 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, said Bill Peters, a fire information officer.

Billowing clouds of smoke hung above the area, while the California Highway Patrol ordered closure of Interstate 210, an east-west highway running north of Los Angeles, and Interstate 15, the main route from Southern California to Las Vegas.

Evacuations were ordered Friday morning for hundreds of residents in northeastern Rancho Cucamonga, and about 2,000 people were ordered out of the nearby Lytle Creek area Thursday because the blaze was expected to block the only road into the area. About 1,400 firefighters battled the blaze, which was only 17 percent contained early Friday, Peters said. Triple-digit temperatures were expected Friday, and winds of 25 mph and up were reported. The even stronger Santa Ana winds were expected to pick up over the weekend.

Firefighters set controlled backfires around the perimeter of the wildfires to help control the fires and prevent them from getting too close to homes. The backfires help firefighters as the Santa Ana winds pick up.

Authorities told NBC4 that the wildfire has doubled in 24 hours.

Authorities said a firefighting helicopter was completed destroyed by the wildfire Friday morning. No injuries were reported

Thousands of residents from Lytle Creek grabbed their belongings and pets and headed to the Red Cross stations.

“I didn’t leave because of the fire,” one resident told NBC4. “I left because the smoke was unbearable. It’s like being in a fireplace.”

Some people were seen watering their homes with a garden hose. Firefighters said that is the worst thing to do.

“Residents need to evacuate the area,” firefighter told NBC4. “A garden hose is not going to save a house.”

The fire, which authorities blamed on arson, was one of several that swept through Southern California this week, destroying five homes and chewing through nearly 11,000 acres.

A fire near Piru in Ventura County had charred about 700 acres by early Friday, but was burning away from homes, said Barry Peckham, a spokesman for Los Padres National Forest. A cause of the fire, reported Thursday, had not been determined. At Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, 50 miles north of San Diego, 1,350 firefighters were battling a 4,100-acre brush fire that was threatening 300 homes Friday morning, fire officials said. Residents were asked to evacuate and a temporary shelter was set up in Fallbrook. Officials said the fire started on a training range Tuesday, apparently sparked by ammunition used in military exercises, and was 40 percent contained early Friday. Firefighters have been unable to enter the southwestern area of the fire because it could be littered with unexploded ordnance, officials said. Officials had no estimate on full containment. A 2,857-acre fire in the Reche Canyon area of Riverside County had been completely contained by Thursday evening. It had destroyed five homes, a barn, 21 outbuildings, a boat and several vehicles. Officials said an arsonist set the Riverside County blaze and were seeking information on a black pickup seen just before the wildfire erupted.

Posted by bbeard on 10/24 at 01:44 PM in West Coast

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