Vegetation fire breaks out near COC and I-5

Firefighters climb to two ridgelines on either side of the fire on Valencia Boulevard Thursday. Signal Photo, Jim Holt
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By Brennon Dixson & Jim Holt

Signal Staff Writers

A vegetation fire near Valencia Boulevard and Interstate 5 prompted the evacuation of College of the Canyons’ Early Childhood Education Center Thursday afternoon.

Marvin Lim, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said officials received word of the fire at 3:02 p.m. Thursday.

Column of water falls on top of a burning downed tree at the Valencia Incident fire Thursday afternoon. Signal photo, Jim Holt

“We were out at the scene at 3:08 (p.m.) and it was east of the 5 freeway,” Lim said. “They had it at 1 acre… It just updated to 2 acres. The wind is going 10 miles an hour and no structures are threatened.”

With the help of three water-dumping helicopters, the brush fire between COC and Interstate 5 was stopped in less than half an hour mid-afternoon Thursday. 

Two county choppers and one from L.A. City Fire Department kept the fire to 1.5 acres, Lim said.

Two lines of about 20 firefighters moved along ridgelines with the fire in a gully between them.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies were reported to be en route for traffic control, and California Highway Patrol officials said via Twitter the southbound off-ramp to Valencia Boulevard would be closed for an unknown duration as a result of the brush fire.

Wendy Trujillo, COC’s public information officer for the incident, said parts of the college were evacuated as a precaution.

“We evacuated the stadium, baseball field and anything on that side of campus,” Trujillo said. “And also the ECDC just as a precautionary measure.”

At 3:32 p.m., Lim said, “It looks like they called forward progress stopped. Now they’re just continuing mop-up.”

COC officials said the Cross Country Summer Series would still start at 7 p.m. as scheduled.

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