Rye Fire: The latest information

By Jim Holt and Austin Dave

Last update: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

UPDATED: Dec. 12, 9:28 a.m.

The Rye Fire is approximately 6,049 acres and 96% contained, according to CalFire. Six structures were destroyed in the initial fire, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Three structures were damaged.

UPDATED: Friday, 7:08 a.m.

The Rye Fire is approximately 6,049 acres and 35% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Thursday, 9:21 a.m.

The Rye Fire is estimated to be 7,000 acres and 15% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Thursday, 2:28 a.m.

The Rye Fire is estimated to be 7,000 acres and 10% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

A map showing the Rye Fire’s burn area was made public.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 12:15 p.m.

The Rye Fire has just crossed the Ventura County line, Pono Barnes, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department told The Signal.

The fire was measured to be about a mile over the Ventura County border, south of Highway 126.

The Rye Fire remains at 7,000 acres burned and is 5% contained. At least 775 firefighters remain deployed at the firefighting scene.

All evacuations have been lifted.

Residents of Travel Village mobile home park on Highway 126, west of Interstate 5, were allowed to return to their homes at 10 a.m., Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 8:20 a.m.

Six people remain evacuated at College of the Canyons, according to a tweet from the City of Santa Clarita. At least one shed structure at Pitchess Detention Center was damaged in the fire.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 7:45 a.m.

The Rye Fire has charred at least 7,000 acres and remains 5% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 1:07 a.m.

The California ISO has issued a Transmission Emergency notice effective from midnight to 11:59 p.m. due to damaged transmission lines in the Ventura area.

UPDATED: Tuesday, 8:23 p.m.

Interstate 5 connectors to State Route 126 have reopened, according to Caltrans District 7’s Twitter page.

UPDATED: 7:00 p.m.

As of 7:00 p.m., the Rye Fire has not reached Simi Valley. The fire has breached the Ventura County line, according to a Simi Valley Police Nixle release.

Evacuations in Simi Valley have not been mandated at this time. Should evacuations be required, shelters for people and shelter locations for large animals will be announced, the release said.

Schools in the Simi Valley Unified School District will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Simi Valley residents may call 805-583-6796 for updates.

UPDATED: 6:14 p.m.

Evacuations have been lifted for the Westridge community near West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s PIO Twitter page.

UPDATED: 3:17 p.m.

A firefighter works to pull hoseline off the side of reserve engine 5134 near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The fire is now being reported at approximately 5,000 acres in size and 5 percent containment. There are currently still no structures threatened, per L.A. County Fire officials. The fire is not growing at this time, per officials.

UPDATED: 2:57 p.m.

Tom Sahli watches flames encroach upon his home at Travel Village in Valencia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“Anyone displaced in Santa Clarita can go to the Evac Center at College of the Canyons at the West Gym,” said Cary Van Ausdall, Red Cross spokesman “Right now we have a student pickup at COC for West Ranch students who were (dismissed from school)”

Ausdall said the Red Cross has “500 plus” evacuees they;re working with.

Fortunately, the elements became more helpful for firefighters as the Santa Ana gusts that approached 40- to 50 mph Tuesday morning dissipated somewhat by Tuesday afternoon, as was predicted by the weather forecast.

“The winds have died down,” said Rosalind Wayman, representative for county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, “and they’re nothing like they were this morning.”

UPDATED: 2:00 p.m.

A man covers his face and photographs the flames encroach upon his home at Travel Village in Valencia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

As firefighters struggle to contain the expanding Rye Fire, whipped up by strong winds and moving west, Los Angeles County Supervisors wasted no time declaring it and the nearby Creek Fire a Local Emergency.

A motion put forward by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl reads: Beginning on the morning of Dec. 5, conditions of disaster and extreme peril to the safety of persons and property arose as a result of the Creek Fire and the Rye Fire, which has created conditions that are beyond the control of local resources.”

The supervisors urged the Board of Supervisors to take immediate action and proclaim that a Local Emergency exists.

UPDATED: 1:50 p.m.

Firefighters fight the Rye Fire as flames encroach upon Travel Village in Valencia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The Rye Fire has now burned an estimated 1,000 acres and continues to push west.

“We have one thousand acres burned, no containment,” Insp. Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

UPDATED: 1:43 p.m.

The Rye Fire seen from Poe Parkway in Stevenson Ranch. photo by Ryan Painter, The Signal

One of four “branches” of the Rye Fire spotted burning to the west of Six Flags Magic Mountain was seen moving south, approaching the western end of brush near West Ranch High School.

A convoy of about sheriff’s vehicles was seen moving in the direction of the evacuated high school, Austin Dave reported.

UPDATED: 1:34 p.m.

A firefighter works to pull hoseline off the side of reserve engine 5134 near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Close to 2,100 Santa Clarita Valley residents experienced power outages Tuesday as a result of the Rye Fire.

“At about 11 o’clock this morning, we had 2,090 customers without power as a result of the fire,” Mary Ann Milbourn, spokeswoman for Southern California Edison told The Signal.

UPDATED: 1:28 p.m.

Flames char vegetation outside a building near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Firefighters reported power lines being down inside the fire zone.

Power outages were experienced in Valencia and Newhall, according to residents in those communities contacting The Signal.

In light of evacuations called due to the steady advance of the Rye Fire – businesses in the Valencia industrial center near Westinghouse, the Travel Village mobile home park and West Ranch High School – City of Santa Clarita officials opened up the Activity Center on Centre Pointe Parkway as an evacuation center.

UPDATED: 1:00 p.m.

A battalion fire chief works to coordinate response as flames move closer to the Travel Village RV Park in Valencia during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

A convoy of between 30 and 40 vehicles, most of them RVs, were lined up at the entrance to Travel Village mobile home park as park residents heeded mandatory evacuation orders to leave the park as the Rye Fire encroaches in a wash area near the park, Austin Dave of The Signal reported.

“Sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers are going door to door telling people to leave,” Dave said.

In addition to West Ranch High School being evacuated, so was the Oakmont of Santa Clarita senior apartment complex on Newhall Ranch Road, according to Nik Samuels, of The Signal.

UPDATED: 12:55 p.m.

Fire officials reported “zero containment” of the Rye Fire which continues to move west.

“We have a mandatory evacuation in place for Travel Village,” Insp. Joey Marron of the Fire Department said.  “We are holding with a burned acreage of 500 acres, zero containment.”

UPDATED: 12:44 p.m.

Sheriff’s deputies escort a convoy of buses during the evacation of students near West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The Rye Fire grew too close for William S. Hart School District officials, prompting the evacuation of  West Ranch High School, Sgt. Waterman said.

Fire officials report the Rye Fire now being fought on four flanks.

UPDATED: 12:38 p.m

Fortunately, for firefighters concerned about evacuations in the Rye Fire area, Six Flags Magic Mountain is” not scheduled to be open today,” Six Flags spokeswoman Sue Carpenter told The Signal.

The scene behind Magic Mountain. photo by Nik Samuels, The Signal.

UPDATED: 12:33 p.m.

The Rye Canyon Fire on the east side of I-5 freeway on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

City of Santa Clarita officials issued a news release alerting the public to a number of closures.

Fast moving brush fire forces evacuations, road closures

A brush fire erupted near Rye Canyon Loop in Santa Clarita on Tuesday morning. High winds in the area caused the fire to spread to more than 500 acres by noon. A separate fire near Hasley Canyon Road and Commerce Center Drive in Castaic broke out just before 10:00 a.m.

Road closures are in effect near the fire zone and residents are asked to avoid the area. Newhall Ranch Road is closed between Interstate 5 and Rye Canyon Road, and Interstate 5 is closed southbound at Hasley Canyon Road and northbound at Magic Mountain Parkway as of 11:45 a.m.

West Creek Academy is closed for the remainder of the day and Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia is currently evacuating students. An evacuation center has been established in the multipurpose room at Valencia High School (27801 Dickason Drive).

Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School (SCVi) in Castaic is closed as a result of the fire burning off Hasley Canyon Road. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials are evacuating the area of Rye Canyon Loop and Kelly Johnson Parkway.

High winds are pushing the fire as well as causing power outages throughout the City.

UPDATED: 12:28 p.m.

Firefighters work to extinguish flames near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Flames were seen roaring behind Six Flags Magic Mountain as firefighters shifted their attention to the fire’s westward development.

Fire officials called for additional units to meet in the parking lot at the amusement park.

UPDATED: 12:18 p.m.

Sheriff’s took steps to begin a mandatory evacuation of the Travel Village mobile home park as fears of the Rye Fire spreading west.

A half-acre spot fire reported on the west side of I-5 near Magic Mountain prompted a call for additional firefighting units.

UPDATED: 12:02 p.m.

The Rye Fire did what firefighters were hoping would not happen – apparently.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the fire jumped the freeway and is a spot fire in the wash on the west side of Interstate 5.

The fire has burned 500 acres on the east side of the interstate, according to Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

UPDATED: 11:56 a.m.

Shortly before noon as the Rye Fire encroached on the Pitchess Detention Center, concerns were raised for evacuating the county correctional facility, but no evacuations have happened there, Sgt. Waterman said.

UPDATED: 11:51 a.m.

Two additional SuperScoopers were sent to join the firefighting units on the line.

CHP stopped eastbound traffic on Newhall Ranch Road, diverting motorists to the southound 5.

As well, traffic was shut down on the northbound traffic was shut down on The Old Road at Magic Mountain Parkway.  A couple of minutes after making the closure, CHP officers shutdown southbound traffic on The Old Road near Rye Canyon.

UPDATED: 11:42 a.m.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station began carrying out evacuations of industrial area businesses, St. Wayne Waterman said.

As strong winds continued, firefighters expressed concern of the fire jumping the interstate.

Flames were also seen at the I-5 and Newhall Ranch Road, as reported by the CHP.

“Spot fires” reported near Newhall Ranch Road, Calgrove Boulevard and Technology Drive posed a particular problem for firefighters compelled to put out the tiny flareups.

UPDATED: 11:25 a.m.

The grassy areas around Westinghouse were seen burning with a fear expressed by some in the area that some of the vehicles in the area would catch fire, Austin Dave reported.

UPDATED: 11:42 a.m.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station began carrying out evacuations of industrial area businesses, St. Wayne Waterman said.

As strong winds continued, firefighters expressed concern of the fire jumping the interstate.

UPDATED: 11:10 a.m.

The Rye Fire whipped up with constant strong winds  grew with explosive force to 200 acres.

More than 245 firefighting personnel were battling the blaze in what was heightened to a three-alarm fire, Inspector Joey Marron said.

No Structures have been threatened.

UPDATED: 11:05 a.m.

L.A. County fire is reporting that fire is at 200 acres. Workers from the industrial park near Rye Canyon Road was being evacuated with are being evacuated, according to Mitch Hacker, an employee who works in the area.

UPDATED: 10:49 a.m.

An air quality warning has been issued due to smoke from fires in and around the Santa Clarita Valley. For more information on safety measures for the air quality warning scroll to the bottom of this report.

UPDATED: 10:34 a.m.

A firefighter confronts the Rye Incident Fire at Newhall Ranch Road on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/ The Signal

California Highway Patrol officers responded to reports of motorists northbound on Interstate 5, turning around and driving southbound, a CHP Officer confirmed for The Signal.

Shortly after the grew five times its size in less than an hour, firefighting crews from at least three additional batallions were dispatched to the scene, including water-dumping fixed wing aircraft and at least one water-dumping helicopter.

The fire – dubbed The Rye Fire – was reported to have branched off into two main fronts, moving through medium brush.

UPDATED: 10:23 a.m.

The fast-moving brush fire west of Valencia off of Rye Canyon Loop jumped to 25 acres by 10:20 a.m., Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.  “We have no containment.”

The Rye Fire just over an hour old. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

Firefighters are responding to a brush fire  at Rye Canyon Loop Road in Valencia.

“The first is reported to be 5 acres, in strong winds,” Inspector Joey Marron told The Signal Tuesday shortly before 10 a.m.

Billowing clouds of grey smoke swept over the west side of Valencia as firefighters from one batallion responded to a first alarm fire.

Motorists driving towards the smoke found themselves pushed by tremendous gusts of wind as branches and small twigs swept across the SCV roadways.

According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, smoke from Creek Fire has caused poor air quality that affects all individuals in the areas of direct smoke impacts and unhealthy air quality will likely include portions of:

and surrounding areas. The Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, urges all individuals in these areas, or areas where there is visible smoke or the odor of smoke, to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and to limit physical exertion (whether indoor or outdoor), such as exercise.

“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask all individuals to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “Smoke and ash can be harmful to health, especially in vulnerable individuals, like the elderly, people with asthma or individuals with other respiratory and heart conditions.”

Throughout Los Angeles County, especially in the San Fernando Valley, Lake View Terrace, Sylmar and surrounding areas as well as coastal areas such as Malibu and Santa Monica, sensitive individuals, such as those with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory disease, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot, or ash cannot be seen or there is no odor of smoke.

“We are also advising schools that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside physical activities in these areas, including physical education and after-school sports, until conditions improve. Non-school related sports organizations for children and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices and competitions in areas where there is visible smoke, soot, or ash, or where there is an odor of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activity, such as hikes or picnics, in these areas,” said Dr. Gunzenhauser.

People can participate in indoor sports or other strenuous activity in areas with visible smoke, soot, or ash, provided the indoor location has air conditioning that does not draw air from the outside and it has closed windows and doors to protect the cleanliness of indoor air. If not, it is recommended that all individuals follow these guidelines as if they were outside.

The following recommendations will help you protect yourself and your family from harmful effects of bad air quality:

The following is recommended for pets:

This is a breaking news story and more information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Rye Fire: The latest information

A firefighters assesses the burn area near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
The Rye Fire erupted in the Rye Canyon area of Santa Clarita Tuesday morning, northwest of Kelly Johnson Parkway and Smyth Drive.

UPDATED: Dec. 12, 9:28 a.m.

The Rye Fire is approximately 6,049 acres and 96% contained, according to CalFire. Six structures were destroyed in the initial fire, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Three structures were damaged.

UPDATED: Friday, 7:08 a.m.

The Rye Fire is approximately 6,049 acres and 35% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Thursday, 9:21 a.m.

The Rye Fire is estimated to be 7,000 acres and 15% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Thursday, 2:28 a.m.

The Rye Fire is estimated to be 7,000 acres and 10% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

A map showing the Rye Fire’s burn area was made public.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 12:15 p.m.

The Rye Fire has just crossed the Ventura County line, Pono Barnes, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department told The Signal.

The fire was measured to be about a mile over the Ventura County border, south of Highway 126.

The Rye Fire remains at 7,000 acres burned and is 5% contained. At least 775 firefighters remain deployed at the firefighting scene.

All evacuations have been lifted.

Residents of Travel Village mobile home park on Highway 126, west of Interstate 5, were allowed to return to their homes at 10 a.m., Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 8:20 a.m.

Six people remain evacuated at College of the Canyons, according to a tweet from the City of Santa Clarita. At least one shed structure at Pitchess Detention Center was damaged in the fire.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 7:45 a.m.

The Rye Fire has charred at least 7,000 acres and remains 5% contained, according to CalFire.

UPDATED: Wednesday, 1:07 a.m.

The California ISO has issued a Transmission Emergency notice effective from midnight to 11:59 p.m. due to damaged transmission lines in the Ventura area.

UPDATED: Tuesday, 8:23 p.m.

Interstate 5 connectors to State Route 126 have reopened, according to Caltrans District 7’s Twitter page.

UPDATED: 7:00 p.m.

As of 7:00 p.m., the Rye Fire has not reached Simi Valley. The fire has breached the Ventura County line, according to a Simi Valley Police Nixle release.

Evacuations in Simi Valley have not been mandated at this time. Should evacuations be required, shelters for people and shelter locations for large animals will be announced, the release said.

Schools in the Simi Valley Unified School District will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Simi Valley residents may call 805-583-6796 for updates.

UPDATED: 6:14 p.m.

Evacuations have been lifted for the Westridge community near West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s PIO Twitter page.

UPDATED: 3:17 p.m.

A firefighter works to pull hoseline off the side of reserve engine 5134 near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The fire is now being reported at approximately 5,000 acres in size and 5 percent containment. There are currently still no structures threatened, per L.A. County Fire officials. The fire is not growing at this time, per officials.

UPDATED: 2:57 p.m.

Tom Sahli watches flames encroach upon his home at Travel Village in Valencia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“Anyone displaced in Santa Clarita can go to the Evac Center at College of the Canyons at the West Gym,” said Cary Van Ausdall, Red Cross spokesman “Right now we have a student pickup at COC for West Ranch students who were (dismissed from school)”

Ausdall said the Red Cross has “500 plus” evacuees they;re working with.

Fortunately, the elements became more helpful for firefighters as the Santa Ana gusts that approached 40- to 50 mph Tuesday morning dissipated somewhat by Tuesday afternoon, as was predicted by the weather forecast.

“The winds have died down,” said Rosalind Wayman, representative for county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, “and they’re nothing like they were this morning.”

UPDATED: 2:00 p.m.

A man covers his face and photographs the flames encroach upon his home at Travel Village in Valencia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

As firefighters struggle to contain the expanding Rye Fire, whipped up by strong winds and moving west, Los Angeles County Supervisors wasted no time declaring it and the nearby Creek Fire a Local Emergency.

A motion put forward by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl reads: Beginning on the morning of Dec. 5, conditions of disaster and extreme peril to the safety of persons and property arose as a result of the Creek Fire and the Rye Fire, which has created conditions that are beyond the control of local resources.”

The supervisors urged the Board of Supervisors to take immediate action and proclaim that a Local Emergency exists.

UPDATED: 1:50 p.m.

Firefighters fight the Rye Fire as flames encroach upon Travel Village in Valencia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The Rye Fire has now burned an estimated 1,000 acres and continues to push west.

“We have one thousand acres burned, no containment,” Insp. Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

UPDATED: 1:43 p.m.

The Rye Fire seen from Poe Parkway in Stevenson Ranch. photo by Ryan Painter, The Signal

One of four “branches” of the Rye Fire spotted burning to the west of Six Flags Magic Mountain was seen moving south, approaching the western end of brush near West Ranch High School.

A convoy of about sheriff’s vehicles was seen moving in the direction of the evacuated high school, Austin Dave reported.

UPDATED: 1:34 p.m.

A firefighter works to pull hoseline off the side of reserve engine 5134 near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Close to 2,100 Santa Clarita Valley residents experienced power outages Tuesday as a result of the Rye Fire.

“At about 11 o’clock this morning, we had 2,090 customers without power as a result of the fire,” Mary Ann Milbourn, spokeswoman for Southern California Edison told The Signal.

UPDATED: 1:28 p.m.

Flames char vegetation outside a building near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Firefighters reported power lines being down inside the fire zone.

Power outages were experienced in Valencia and Newhall, according to residents in those communities contacting The Signal.

In light of evacuations called due to the steady advance of the Rye Fire – businesses in the Valencia industrial center near Westinghouse, the Travel Village mobile home park and West Ranch High School – City of Santa Clarita officials opened up the Activity Center on Centre Pointe Parkway as an evacuation center.

UPDATED: 1:00 p.m.

A battalion fire chief works to coordinate response as flames move closer to the Travel Village RV Park in Valencia during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

A convoy of between 30 and 40 vehicles, most of them RVs, were lined up at the entrance to Travel Village mobile home park as park residents heeded mandatory evacuation orders to leave the park as the Rye Fire encroaches in a wash area near the park, Austin Dave of The Signal reported.

“Sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers are going door to door telling people to leave,” Dave said.

In addition to West Ranch High School being evacuated, so was the Oakmont of Santa Clarita senior apartment complex on Newhall Ranch Road, according to Nik Samuels, of The Signal.

UPDATED: 12:55 p.m.

Fire officials reported “zero containment” of the Rye Fire which continues to move west.

“We have a mandatory evacuation in place for Travel Village,” Insp. Joey Marron of the Fire Department said.  “We are holding with a burned acreage of 500 acres, zero containment.”

UPDATED: 12:44 p.m.

Sheriff’s deputies escort a convoy of buses during the evacation of students near West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The Rye Fire grew too close for William S. Hart School District officials, prompting the evacuation of  West Ranch High School, Sgt. Waterman said.

Fire officials report the Rye Fire now being fought on four flanks.

UPDATED: 12:38 p.m

Fortunately, for firefighters concerned about evacuations in the Rye Fire area, Six Flags Magic Mountain is” not scheduled to be open today,” Six Flags spokeswoman Sue Carpenter told The Signal.

The scene behind Magic Mountain. photo by Nik Samuels, The Signal.

UPDATED: 12:33 p.m.

The Rye Canyon Fire on the east side of I-5 freeway on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

City of Santa Clarita officials issued a news release alerting the public to a number of closures.

Fast moving brush fire forces evacuations, road closures

A brush fire erupted near Rye Canyon Loop in Santa Clarita on Tuesday morning. High winds in the area caused the fire to spread to more than 500 acres by noon. A separate fire near Hasley Canyon Road and Commerce Center Drive in Castaic broke out just before 10:00 a.m.

Road closures are in effect near the fire zone and residents are asked to avoid the area. Newhall Ranch Road is closed between Interstate 5 and Rye Canyon Road, and Interstate 5 is closed southbound at Hasley Canyon Road and northbound at Magic Mountain Parkway as of 11:45 a.m.

West Creek Academy is closed for the remainder of the day and Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia is currently evacuating students. An evacuation center has been established in the multipurpose room at Valencia High School (27801 Dickason Drive).

Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School (SCVi) in Castaic is closed as a result of the fire burning off Hasley Canyon Road. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials are evacuating the area of Rye Canyon Loop and Kelly Johnson Parkway.

High winds are pushing the fire as well as causing power outages throughout the City.

UPDATED: 12:28 p.m.

Firefighters work to extinguish flames near Westinghouse Place and Avenue Stanford during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Flames were seen roaring behind Six Flags Magic Mountain as firefighters shifted their attention to the fire’s westward development.

Fire officials called for additional units to meet in the parking lot at the amusement park.

UPDATED: 12:18 p.m.

Sheriff’s took steps to begin a mandatory evacuation of the Travel Village mobile home park as fears of the Rye Fire spreading west.

A half-acre spot fire reported on the west side of I-5 near Magic Mountain prompted a call for additional firefighting units.

UPDATED: 12:02 p.m.

The Rye Fire did what firefighters were hoping would not happen – apparently.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the fire jumped the freeway and is a spot fire in the wash on the west side of Interstate 5.

The fire has burned 500 acres on the east side of the interstate, according to Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

UPDATED: 11:56 a.m.

Shortly before noon as the Rye Fire encroached on the Pitchess Detention Center, concerns were raised for evacuating the county correctional facility, but no evacuations have happened there, Sgt. Waterman said.

UPDATED: 11:51 a.m.

Two additional SuperScoopers were sent to join the firefighting units on the line.

CHP stopped eastbound traffic on Newhall Ranch Road, diverting motorists to the southound 5.

As well, traffic was shut down on the northbound traffic was shut down on The Old Road at Magic Mountain Parkway.  A couple of minutes after making the closure, CHP officers shutdown southbound traffic on The Old Road near Rye Canyon.

UPDATED: 11:42 a.m.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station began carrying out evacuations of industrial area businesses, St. Wayne Waterman said.

As strong winds continued, firefighters expressed concern of the fire jumping the interstate.

Flames were also seen at the I-5 and Newhall Ranch Road, as reported by the CHP.

“Spot fires” reported near Newhall Ranch Road, Calgrove Boulevard and Technology Drive posed a particular problem for firefighters compelled to put out the tiny flareups.

UPDATED: 11:25 a.m.

The grassy areas around Westinghouse were seen burning with a fear expressed by some in the area that some of the vehicles in the area would catch fire, Austin Dave reported.

UPDATED: 11:42 a.m.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station began carrying out evacuations of industrial area businesses, St. Wayne Waterman said.

As strong winds continued, firefighters expressed concern of the fire jumping the interstate.

UPDATED: 11:10 a.m.

The Rye Fire whipped up with constant strong winds  grew with explosive force to 200 acres.

More than 245 firefighting personnel were battling the blaze in what was heightened to a three-alarm fire, Inspector Joey Marron said.

No Structures have been threatened.

UPDATED: 11:05 a.m.

L.A. County fire is reporting that fire is at 200 acres. Workers from the industrial park near Rye Canyon Road was being evacuated with are being evacuated, according to Mitch Hacker, an employee who works in the area.

UPDATED: 10:49 a.m.

An air quality warning has been issued due to smoke from fires in and around the Santa Clarita Valley. For more information on safety measures for the air quality warning scroll to the bottom of this report.

UPDATED: 10:34 a.m.

A firefighter confronts the Rye Incident Fire at Newhall Ranch Road on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/ The Signal

California Highway Patrol officers responded to reports of motorists northbound on Interstate 5, turning around and driving southbound, a CHP Officer confirmed for The Signal.

Shortly after the grew five times its size in less than an hour, firefighting crews from at least three additional batallions were dispatched to the scene, including water-dumping fixed wing aircraft and at least one water-dumping helicopter.

The fire – dubbed The Rye Fire – was reported to have branched off into two main fronts, moving through medium brush.

UPDATED: 10:23 a.m.

The fast-moving brush fire west of Valencia off of Rye Canyon Loop jumped to 25 acres by 10:20 a.m., Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.  “We have no containment.”

The Rye Fire just over an hour old. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

Firefighters are responding to a brush fire  at Rye Canyon Loop Road in Valencia.

“The first is reported to be 5 acres, in strong winds,” Inspector Joey Marron told The Signal Tuesday shortly before 10 a.m.

Billowing clouds of grey smoke swept over the west side of Valencia as firefighters from one batallion responded to a first alarm fire.

Motorists driving towards the smoke found themselves pushed by tremendous gusts of wind as branches and small twigs swept across the SCV roadways.

According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, smoke from Creek Fire has caused poor air quality that affects all individuals in the areas of direct smoke impacts and unhealthy air quality will likely include portions of:

  • East San Fernando Valley
  • West San Fernando Valley
  • Northwest Los Angeles County Coastal areas

and surrounding areas. The Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, urges all individuals in these areas, or areas where there is visible smoke or the odor of smoke, to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and to limit physical exertion (whether indoor or outdoor), such as exercise.

“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask all individuals to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “Smoke and ash can be harmful to health, especially in vulnerable individuals, like the elderly, people with asthma or individuals with other respiratory and heart conditions.”

Throughout Los Angeles County, especially in the San Fernando Valley, Lake View Terrace, Sylmar and surrounding areas as well as coastal areas such as Malibu and Santa Monica, sensitive individuals, such as those with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory disease, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot, or ash cannot be seen or there is no odor of smoke.

“We are also advising schools that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside physical activities in these areas, including physical education and after-school sports, until conditions improve. Non-school related sports organizations for children and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices and competitions in areas where there is visible smoke, soot, or ash, or where there is an odor of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activity, such as hikes or picnics, in these areas,” said Dr. Gunzenhauser.

People can participate in indoor sports or other strenuous activity in areas with visible smoke, soot, or ash, provided the indoor location has air conditioning that does not draw air from the outside and it has closed windows and doors to protect the cleanliness of indoor air. If not, it is recommended that all individuals follow these guidelines as if they were outside.

The following recommendations will help you protect yourself and your family from harmful effects of bad air quality:

  • If you see or smell smoke, or see a lot of particles and ash in the air, avoid unnecessary outdoor activity to limit your exposure to harmful air. This is especially important for those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), the elderly and children.
  • If outdoor air is bad, try to keep indoor air as clean as possible by keeping windows and doors closed. Air conditioners that re-circulate air within the home can help filter out harmful particles.
  • Avoid using air conditioning units that only draw in air from the outside or that do not have a re-circulating option. Residents should check the filters on their air conditioners and replace them regularly. Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can further reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.
  • If it is too hot during the day to keep the doors or windows closed and you do not have an air conditioning unit that re-circulates indoor air, consider going to an air conditioned public place, such as a library or shopping center, to stay cool and to protect yourself from harmful air.
  • Do not use fireplaces (either wood burning or gas), candles, and vacuums. Use damp cloths to clean dusty indoor surfaces. Do not smoke.
  • If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to smoke exposure, including severe coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your doctor immediately or go to an urgent care center. If life threatening, please contact 911.
  • When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though you may not be able to see them. Wearing a mask may prevent exposures to large particles. However, most masks do not prevent exposure to fine particles and toxic gases, which may be more dangerous to your health.
  • Practice safe clean-up following a fire. Follow the ash clean-up and food safety instructions at http://bit.ly/SafeFireCleanup.

The following is recommended for pets:

  • Avoid leaving your pets outdoors, particularly at night. Pets should be brought into an indoor location, such as an enclosed garage or a house.
  • If dogs or cats appear to be in respiratory distress, they should be taken to an animal hospital immediately. Symptoms of respiratory distress for dogs include panting and/or an inability to catch their breath. Symptoms for cats are less noticeable, but may include panting and/or an inability to catch their breath.

This is a breaking news story and more information will be posted as it becomes available.

About the author

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Jim Holt and Austin Dave

  • Gabriella Garzon

    Thanks for the updates, stay safe!!!

  • Cheri Heron

    We are 2000 miles away, with family there. Stay safe, please keep the updates coming!

  • Laura Solis-Fotens

    What is the evacuation area/route for Hasley Canyon residents? My co-workers 2 daughters are at home (we are here at the office), and they have the car ready, they need to know which route to take. They live off of Hillcrest Parkway.

    • Tom Rogers

      Sounds like they opened the freeways as of 2pm.

  • Samantha

    Any confirmation that the fire has indeed jumped the 5? People in Simi/Moorpark are concerned.

  • Dirk McGivens

    Shouldn’t Hart & Placerita be closed also because of the smoke or does the district now care?

    • Brian Richards

      I’m sure they care and I’m sure they can lick their finger and stick it in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing. It’s not rocket science.

  • Kim Wilczynski

    Please stop reporting that Valencia High School has evacuated. We are still at school and classes are in session.

  • LOL

    Is there smoke at West Ranch? I don’t want to go to school tomorrow…..