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Hints of fire season begin to flare up

During Monday’s 90-degree temperatures, at least three blazes erupt along freeways

Posted: June 8, 2010 4:30 a.m.
Updated: June 8, 2010 4:30 a.m.

As the Santa Clarita Valley heats up and dries out, several Monday-afternoon brush fires hinted that fire season is fast approaching.

“We’re starting to get busy; it’s starting to pick up,” said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Matt Levesque.

Three fire engine units and a water tender helped knock down the first Monday flare-up south of Sand Canyon Road between Highway 14 and a bike trail, Levesque said.

The fire burned an acre just after noon before crews doused the flames within minutes.

No more than a half-hour later, firefighters responded to smoke sightings at northbound Interstate 5 and Smokey Bear Road, about 20 miles north of Castaic. Crews quickly put out the fire, Levesque said.

About 1:20 p.m., a third blaze broke out at on northbound Highway 14 near Via Princessa. Levesque said the fire burned 2 1/2 acres close to the initial brush fire near Sand Canyon Road.

“Could be an ember or something that flew out from the other one,” Levesque said. “It was a new start but very close to the other one.”

The SCV heated up to 90 degrees Monday, but temperatures are expected to waver between the mid 80s and high 70s throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service website. Wind gusts could reach 15 miles per hours today but calm to 5 to 10 miles per hour the rest of the week. “It’s not that hot yet; the moisture in the fuels are still high,” Levesque said.

Regional fire officials will host a news conference today to share elements of the upcoming fire season outlook, including potential budget impacts on fire response.



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