Sage Fire in Stevenson Ranch Area 49 Percent Contained at 1,100 Acres; 2 Injuries Reported

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A brush fire burning in the Santa Clarita Valley that forced the temporary evacuation of thousands of residents is now 49 percent contained at 1,100 officials said Sunday.

Firefighters continued to battle the 1,100-acre Sage Fire on July 10, 2016. The blaze erupted the previous day in the Stevenson Ranch area.
Firefighters continued to battle the 1,100-acre Sage Fire on July 10, 2016. The blaze erupted the previous day in the Stevenson Ranch area.

The so-called Sage Fire broke out Saturday around noon near Calgrove Boulevard and the Old Road, in the Stevenson Ranch area, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Less than 24 hours later, it had scorched 1,109 acres, the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted. Containment grew overnight from 15 percent to 20 percent and was reported at 49 percent about 6 p.m.

The fast-growing brush fire at one point prompted the mandatory evacuation of 2,000 residents from 700 homes in the area, and a temporary shelter was established at West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch.

The evacuation order was lifted around 9:30 p.m. and displaced residents were allowed to return home. The evacuation center has since been closed.

Road closures continue in Pico Canyon Road at Stevenson Ranch Parkway, Southern Oaks Drive and The Old Road.

Closures also continue at Sagecrest Circle and the Old Road South. Access to those areas are restricted to residents only, the fire department said.

The Sage Fire burned in the Santa Clarita area on July 9, 2016. (Credit: Kyle Cox)
The Sage Fire burned in the Santa Clarita area on July 9, 2016. (Credit: Kyle Cox)

Hundreds of personnel from the Los Angeles County Fire Department were battling the blaze by ground and by air as they worked to fully contain the blaze, a sheriff’s news release stated.

Investigators are still working to determine what sparked the fire.

An inmate firefighter sustained a minor injury while battling the blaze and another firefighter injury was later reported by the fire department.

One home sustained significant damage after an ember ignited part of the residence about 7 a.m., a resident told KTLA.

“The back of their house was destroyed, so red-tagged,” the man said.

The National Weather Service warned that gusty conditions and low humidity would create critical fire weather conditions through Sunday night.

West to northwest winds are forecast to become more widespread by the evening hours, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph expected, according to the weather service. Humidity could drop to between 10 and 20 percent, and possibly to single digits at higher elevations.

Fire burns on a hillside in Stevenson Ranch on July 10, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)
Fire burns on a hillside in Stevenson Ranch on July 10, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

“The combination of gusty winds, low humidity, warm temperatures, and very dry fuels will create critical fire weather conditions with the potential for extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth,” the weather service stated.

A Red Flag warning is in effect.

Firefighters will remain at the scene through the night because of the wind conditions, said fire Capt. Kenichi Haskett.

Meanwhile, officials have warned residents that they would continue to see smoke in the area Sunday while the fire burns.

An advisory has been issued for the Santa Clarita Valley after air quality was determined to be unhealthy for sensitive individuals, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Those with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory diseases who work or live in the area are encouraged to minimize outdoor activities, a news release from the county’s Department of Public Health.

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