A 13-acre brush fire that was burning near dozens of hillside homes in the Sunland area and threatened structures Thursday night has been declared a knockdown by L.A. fire officials.
It took 163 firefighters a little over four hours to extinguish the "major emergency" fire, which erupted just before 8 p.m. in Big Tujunga Canyon, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert.
No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported as crews battled the flames by ground and air throughout the evening.
Firefighters were initially dispatched to the 11100 block of North Oro Vista Avenue and arrived to find the flames had already scorched about an acre, and gusty winds of up to 20 mph were fanning the embers ahead toward homes, said LAFD Assistant Chief Guy Tomlinson.
There were also three spot fires near Riverwood development, an area with approximately 30 residences, he said.
Tomlinson also noted a number of people were living in the nearby wash.
With homes threatened, LAFD ground resources were strategically stationed throughout the community to prevent any buildings from being damaged or destroyed.
No evacuations were ordered, but Los Angeles Police Department officers were standing by just in case, Tomlinson said.
The fire was burning not far from where the Creek Fire charred more than 15,000 acres and destroyed 120 structures, including 60 homes, earlier this month.
“Burning into the Creek Fire. It’s the vegetation that did not burn yet from the Creek Fire, so that’s why we jumped on it right away, to keep it out of those homes," Tomlinson said.
Winds were initially a significant factor in the fire's spread, carrying embers about a quarter of a mile in distance. A short time later, the winds had calmed down a bit, blowing north to northeast with sustained speeds of 5 to 7 mph, and gusts of up to 10 mph.
The area has been under dry conditions since the end of November, and the conditions Thursday night were similar to the ones in the first week of December, when several fires erupted in Southern California, according to Tomlinson. The Creek Fire was among the series of wildfires, but the most prominent one, the Thomas Fire, continued to burn more than four weeks after it ignited in the Santa Paula area.
At more than 281,000 acres as of Thursday, the massive inferno -- spanning Ventura and Santa Barbara counties -- is the largest wildfire on record in modern California history.
Authorities were still investigating the cause of that blaze, as well as the Creek Fire. An investigation is also underway into what sparked Thursday's fire.
Meanwhile, no road closures were in effect due to the Oro Vista Fire, although the California Highway Patrol briefly issued a SigAlert for the Nos. 4 and 5 lanes of the northbound 5 Freeway in Sun Valley and the Sunland on-ramp after the flames ignited. The alert, however, was canceled within 15 minutes.