Firefighters make progress on Charlie Fire, still at 3,000 acres

White smoke could be seen from the Charlie Fire in Castaic Saturday. Austin Dave/The Signal
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County firefighters battling the Charlie Fire in Castaic reported the fire was still being held at 10 percent containment and approximately 3,000 acres Sunday morning, according to Inspector Joey Marron.

L.A. County was already again working on the blaze after a morning briefing, alongside Angeles National Forest firefighters and CalFire, the state agency.

As of Sunday morning, the situation has improved, and some residents had returned home, but fire officials were reluctant to officially announce a stop to forward progress, which had not yet been confirmed.

“Due to our backfire operations last night, it looks like we’re getting a really good handle on it,” said Marron, adding there’s been no official cause determined yet, but investigators are still working to determine that.

It began with reports of a 3- to 4-acre brushfire not far from Tapia and Charlie canyon roads, earning it the moniker the Charlie Fire. Marron said firefighters were sent out after receiving multiple reports of visible smoke. As of 2:55 p.m. Saturday, white smoke was visible, a credit to the fire getting doused with water, Marron said.

There are still several road closures in place as of about 9 a.m., according to Lt. Mohrhoff of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“The road closures that I currently have is San Francisquito Canyon Road, by Low Ridge to Camp 14 (in Saugus) , and I have Lake Hughes Road between Ridge Route  Road and Dry Gulch,” Mohrhoff said. “Charlie Canyon Road is closed at Tapia Canyon.”

There were precautionary evacuations in place, but no residences were reported lost to the Charlie Fire, and no injuries have been reported.

“The evacuations are still in effect, however some have decided to leave, and some have decided to stay,” Mohrhoff said, noting the Castaic Sports Complex, which was offered as a place of refuge for those whose homes are threatened, was still open as of Sunday morning.

There was a positive feeling from firefighters, but also the recognition that conditions Sunday would continue to be extremely challenging for firefighters. The weather forecast calls for highs in the low 90s.

“The word I got was that the fire behaved itself (Saturday) night but with the heat and the wind,” he said, “we’re also waiting to see what happens.”


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