A brush fire whipped up by strong winds in the Newhall Pass prompted swift response by multiple firefighting units shortly before noon Friday.
At least 115 firefighters and four water-dumping helicopters were dispatched to the fire dubbed, the Newhall Incident, shortly before noon, Inspector Randall Wright of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
“The fire has burned one to one and a quarter acres,” he said at noon. “We’re putting hoses down and dumping water as we speak.”
By 1:22 p.m., the fire had burned four acres and although it was not considered “knocked down” firefighting units were “being released from the scene”, Fire Department Inspector Robert Diaz said.
The fire was located off the northbound lanes of Highway 14, about a quarter mile south of the Newhall Avenue off-ramp.
Flames and smoke were first reported seen from Sierra Highway at 11:44 a.m. Friday, according to reports received by the California Highway Patrol.
CHP officers are investigating reports of a man seen getting into a white pickup truck just when the fire started.
By 12:20 p.m., they had shut down northbound lanes of Highway 14 at Newhall.
Complicating firefighting efforts were reports received by fire officials of a second brush fire that broke out shortly after noon on Shadow Valley Lane near Bouquet Canyon Road.
The second fire, dubbed the Shadow Incident, burned about one eighth of an acre, Diaz said, and was extinguished promptly.
According to a staffer at the Los Angeles County Camp Joseph Scott, near the intersection, the fire was sparked by electrical wires after strong winds sent a tree down on power lines.
The probation camp staffer said he could see smoke from the camp’s building on Bouquet Canyon Road.
A power outage in the area was reported at 12:03 p.m. by Southern California Edison, leaving 340 residents without electricity.
At 12:04 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the same area.
A high wind warning issued Friday for the Santa Clarita Valley by officials at the National Weather Office remains in effect until at least 2 p.m. Saturday.
The winds, from the north and northeast, were recorded as 20 to 30 miles per hour, gusting up to 45 mph with damaging winds reported at 60 mph.
The warning posted by the weather office defines the impacts of the high winds as: making driving difficult, especially drivers towing trailers, downing trees and power lines.
“Areas downwind of the Sand Fire will also likely experience blowing dust,” the site reads.
The Sand Fire, which began July 22 and was officially declared “out” by the US Forest Service on Nov. 7, is blamed for the death of one man, the destruction of 19 buildings and burning at least 41,432 acres.
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