Charlie Fire Scorches 3,000 Acres Near Castaic

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A brush fire quickly consumed more than 3,000 acres of brush near Castaic after igniting on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

A brush fire ignited near Castaic on Sept. 22, 2018. (Credit: Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations)
A brush fire ignited near Castaic on Sept. 22, 2018. (Credit: Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations)

The blaze, dubbed the Charlie Fire, was first reported shortly before 3 p.m. along Charlie Canyon Road, near Tapia Canyon Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron said. Firefighters called for a second alarm and brought in three water-dropping helicopters, as well as the two leased Canadian Super Scooper jumbo jets, to help.

Firefighters had difficulty accessing the remote location, Marron added.

Authorities evacuated a nearby paintball park early on in the fire, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said via social media.

The blaze had grown to 1,200 acres in size by 5 p.m., L.A. County fire and U.S. Forest Service fire officials said. It had consumed more than 3,000 acres two hours later and was 10 percent contained.

Evacuation orders were issued for residents along San Francisquito Canyon Road about 7 p.m., sheriff's officials said. Dozens of homes were affected.

An evacuation center was set up at the Castaic Sports Complex, 31230 Castaic Road.

Fire officials said they planned to ask the Red Cross to assist with displaced residents. Many volunteers with trailers showed up to help residents with livestock move their animals, which were being taken to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.

Mike Wozniak was among the volunteers.

"The problem is a lot of people have a lot of animals, but they only have one trailer. So that’s what here for, to help them out," he said.

San Francisquito Canyon was closed as a result of the fire between Lowridge Place and Camp 14, Santa Clarita city officials said.

Lake Hughes Road was shut down between Ridge Route and Dry Gulch Road, sheriff's officials added.

Fire officials said they planned to keep at least 2 helicopters assigned to the fire overnight.

Temperatures were in the mid- to upper 90s and southwest winds in the area were gusting to 20 mph, the National Weather Service said.

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