Santa Clarita Fire Shuts Down Golden State (I-5) Freeway, LA County Fire Dept. Believes Caused By Homeless Encampment

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Los Angeles County firefighters were battling a two- alarm brush fire that threatened structures and consumed more than 20 acres in the Valencia area in Santa Clarita Saturday. The “South Fire” was reported about 2:50 p.m. just east of the Golden State (5) Freeway, south of Calgrove Boulevard, fire officials said.
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Firefighters immediately called a second alarm due to a need for structure protection in South Canyon. Water-dropping helicopters began assisting firefighters on the ground, and fixed-wing aircraft were requested.

Evacuations were ordered on White Oak Court, deputies said.

 

There was talk of closing the northbound 5 to traffic, as the two right lanes were blocked by fire trucks. Traffic quickly backed up in the Newhall Pass, as drivers opted for the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and then surface streets to get around the fire.

 

Earlier in the day, a five-acre brushfire on both sides of — and under — the Golden State (5) Freeway caused smoke to blow across 14 lanes of traffic before it was put out Saturday.

CHP officers said it appeared that the fire began after 12 p.m. at a homeless encampment along the 5, near Roxford Street and the Van Norman Reservoir, at the northern end of the San Fernando Valley.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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