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Sand fire 85 percent contained

Fire expected to cost $28 million

Posted: July 29, 2016 10:40 a.m.
Updated: July 29, 2016 10:40 a.m.
Jake Koschik of Mendocino Engine 344 sprays down hot spots on a tree off of Soledad Canyon Road and Agua Dulce Canyon Road in Acton as multiple fire agencies work on a controlled burn in the area on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Jake Koschik of Mendocino Engine 344 sprays down hot spots on a tree off of Soledad Canyon Road and Agua Dulce Canyon Road in Acton as multiple fire agencies work on a controlled burn in the area on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Jake Koschik of Mendocino Engine 344 sprays down hot spots on a tree off of Soledad Canyon Road and Agua Dulce Canyon Road in Acton as multiple fire agencies work on a controlled burn in the area on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
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One week after it started, the Sand fire is now 85 percent contained, according to a Friday morning update from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The fire has burned 38,873 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley and Angeles National Forest – an increase of about 500 acres since Thursday. There are 1,718 firefighters, 101 engines, 19 dozers and 10 helicopters still working the fire.

Earlier in the week, more than 3,000 firefighters were assigned to the Sand fire, but many have returned to their home units or were reassigned to other incidents.

Angeles National Forest spokesman Andrew Mitchell said fire personnel are on mop-up duty searching for hot spots and building the containment line. Crews are working Friday to lay hose on the east side of the burn area – the only section not fully contained.

“On the east side, a successful tactical firing operation around the North Fork Saddle Station created a buffer between burned and unburned vegetation. It would take a very strong wind to push the fire north,” the Fire Department and Angeles National Forest said in a news release Friday.

The fire began at about 2 p.m. July 22. More than 10,000 homes were evacuated last weekend, but most residents were allowed to return home Monday night.

Only two road closures remain: Sand Canyon Road and Placerita Canyon Road going into Bear Divide and Little Tujunga Canyon Road north of Wildlife WayStation.

The total cost of the fire, including all firefighting expenses, is projected to be $28 million, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Justin Correll said Thursday.

An assistance center is scheduled to open next Friday for residents affected by the fire.

The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will operate the local assistance center with the state Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the city of Santa Clarita.

“The LAC will provide a single place for people impacted by the Sand fire to receive help and get them on the road to recovery,” said Jeff Reeb, director of the Los Angeles County’s Office of Emergency Management.

Agencies will provide information about replacing lost records, initiating building permit requests and applying for assistance. Donations will not be accepted at the center.

The center is scheduled to open next week at William S. Hart Park Hart Hall, at 24151 Newhall Ave. The hours of operation are 1-8 p.m. Aug. 5 and Aug. 8 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6. It will be closed Aug. 7.

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