Elsmere Fire: 130-acre brush fire sparks in Santa Clarita; evacuations lifted, 14 Freeway reopens

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Evacuations orders were lifted and the northbound 14 Freeway reopened as crews gained the upper hand on a brush fire in Santa Clarita Monday evening.

The flames sparked around 1:45 p.m. in the area of the freeway and Newhall Avenue and covered 130 acres as of 4 p.m., said the Los Angeles County Fire Department, after downgrading the size from 200 acres.

The blaze, dubbed the Elsmere Fire, was 30% contained and its forward rate of spread had been stopped by late afternoon, officials said.

As of 3:15 p.m., no evacuation orders or warnings were in place. An evacuation order was lifted for the area south of Dockweiler Drive, north Newhall Avenue and south of Valle del Oro.

The northbound 14 Freeway was shut down at the 5 Freeway interchange until about 7:30 p.m., at which point it fully reopened.

Both the north- and southbound 5 Freeway transition onto the northbound 14 would remain closed until 8:30 p.m. due to a stalled big rig, according to Caltrans.

Sierra Highway was closed between Newhall Avenue and Golden Valley Road. That caused traffic to back up on Golden Valley Road near the freeway, and residents were asked to avoid the area.

Tall flames were also seen charring the edges of Placerita Canyon Road, which was closed from Sand Canyon Road to the 14 Freeway.

Aerial video showed the fire was mostly burning on the south side of the freeway, away from homes. However, flames did jump north of the 14 in the area of Sierra Highway and Placerita Canyon Road.

Large plumes of smoke were billowing north across Santa Clarita.

Firefighting crews from the Angeles National Forest and Los Angeles Fire Department responded to assist L.A. County firefighters, officials said. Water-dropping aircraft were also on scene.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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