Fire crews reach 63% containment on 462-acre Route Fire near Castaic


Firefighters continued to battle the flames of a brush fire Sunday that has burned over 400 acres and temporarily shut down the 5 Freeway in both directions near Castaic.

The blaze, dubbed the Route Fire, erupted just before 4 p.m. Saturday near the 5 Freeway and Templin Highway and has burned about 462 acres of brush and chaparral and was 63% contained Sunday afternoon, according to the Angeles National Forest.

On Sunday, aircraft and ground crews worked to directly attack the fire and build containment, fire officials said.

The blaze jumped across the 5 Freeway Saturday afternoon and spread across more than a half of a square mile on dry hillsides, prompting the closure of both sides of the busy freeway near Templin Highway.

As of 8:34 p.m. Sunday, Cal Trans reported that all southbound lanes were opened and only the right lane on the northbound side would remain closed for crews to monitor hot spots.

About 390 personnel, assisted by water- and retardant-dropping aircraft, were fighting the flames Sunday.

Two firefighters have suffered injuries in battling the blaze, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Santa Clarita Valley Station said in a tweet Saturday.

Fire officials say an unknown number of structures are threatened, but no evacuation warnings are in effect as of Sunday.

The cause of the fire remains unknown and is being investigated.

Meanwhile, fire officials said Sunday’s weather “will very much resemble Saturday,” with some parts of the region expecting to reach triple-digit temperatures.

The National Weather Service on Sunday said “elevated fire weather conditions” are expected to continue Sunday and Monday across the valleys, mountains and desert areas “due to very warm/dry conditions, with locally gusty onshore winds.”

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