Brush fire flares up in Newhall Pass, sparks concern over ‘old fuel’

File photo. SuperScooper scoops up water at Castaic Lake Friday morning. Signal photo, Dan Watson

A brush fire treated as part of the Saddleridge Fire flared up in the Newhall Pass late afternoon Friday, prompting repeated fly-over water dumps to contain it.

Shortly after 6 p.m., firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department, assisted by their counterparts with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, were dispatched to an area near the Oak Tree Gun Club near Weldon Canyon.

Flames and smoke seen wafting from the ridgeline of hills in the canyon were visited repeatedly by SuperScoopers releasing thousands of gallons of water scooped up from Castaic Lake.

“They’re dropping water, it’s needed,” said L.A. City Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart.

The fire was reported near Edison Road off of Interstate 5 and the Michael D. Antonovich Open Space.

Fire officials expressed concern early in the day about the area near the open space, which was found to have an abundance of “old fuel,” meaning brush that hasn’t burned in a long time.

Capt. Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station joined in a press conference update on the Saddleridge Fire.

“One other thing we want to let residents know is that when they see flames on the hillside or a red glow, it doesn’t mean that the fire is that close,” he said.

“So, last night we received hundreds of calls,” he said. “Five alone were about a tree on fire behind Hart Park and we get there and it’s not. It’s all the fire from Sylmar.”

“Unless they see flames at their residence or by the residence or feel the heat please use the regular lines, do not inundate the 911 line,” he said. “Because it ties it up for other emergency services that someone could be suffering a life-saving emergency.”

With files from Signal Staff Writer Tammy Murga.

[email protected] 661-287-5527  On Twitter @@jamesarthurholt

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