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700-acre fire not a serious threat to the Santa Clarita Valley

Posted: September 2, 2012 5:53 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2012 5:53 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley residents looking east Sunday and watching a plume of smoke billow from the south side of the Angeles National Forest shouldn’t be too worried, a spokeswoman for the US Forest Service said.

When asked if the fire was likely to crest the mountains and move into the Santa Clarita Valley, L’Tanga Watson said “not really.”

“It’s more in the foothills in Glendora,” she said.

Fire broke out near a campground on the East Fork Road shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, she said.

“It’s north,” she said, adding it was unlikely to crest the mountain.

“The wind is not a factor,” said Watson, a US Forest Service staff officer. “Temperatures and terrain are the two biggest factors for us right now.”

By 5:30 p.m., it had consumed 700 acres north of Azusa, forcing the evacuation of about 12,000 visitors who flocked to campgrounds for the holiday weekend.

The fire is sending a huge cloud of smoke that’s visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin.

More than 200 firefighters, including those from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, battled to contain the blaze.

At least seven water-dumping air tankers were pressed into service, Watson told The Signal.

“And, we’ve just called in the big planes, the 747s,” she said.

It quickly grew to several hundred acres as flames chewed thick brush that was not touched by the destructive Station Fire in 2009.

The Station Fire claimed the lives of two Los Angeles County firefighters, scorched almost 170,000 acres and destroyed more than 100 homes after it erupted Aug. 26, 2009. The blaze destroyed some structures in the Acton-Agua Dulce area but spared most of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Watson said the fire was burning near a popular recreational area and also forced the evacuation of the private community of Camp Williams Resort.



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