LA Area Wildfire Spurs Hundreds Of Evacuations, Smoke Keeps Others Indoors

La Tuna Fire Scorches San Fernando Valley Hillsides

LOS ANGELES - More than 5,000 acres have burned in the intense La Tuna brush fire near Burbank, California, forcing people from their homes, shutting down an interstate and sending massive plumes of smoke in the air, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The fire is being called as the biggest in the history of Los Angeles as officials warn that it could grow larger if erratic weather conditions continue. It prompted authorities to issue evacuation orders earlier this week to residents of some 500 homes. "We have firefighters that are confining this as it goes", Garcetti said.

Firefighters, backed by five engines, were trying to save the single home that had so far been caught by the flames in Sunland-Tijunga area, fire officials said.

One of those ordered to leave Saturday was Chris Hall, 37, who was spraying the roof of his Sunland home with a garden hose when two police officers pulled up to his driveway. It is 10 percent contained. There were no reports of injuries. Although firefighters quickly extinguished the bulk of that fire, high winds caused embers to jump across the highway, sparking a spot fire north of I-210, Stewart said.

"Be set, have your vehicle positioned appropriately, have your pets, your documents, your pictures - all the things you want to protect - loaded up in your auto", Terrazas said.

Watch Plane Drops Fire Retardant on La Tuna Fire
Watch Plane Drops Fire Retardant on La Tuna Fire

Meanwhile in OR, 140 hikers were being evacuated Saturday after a fire broke out southeast of Portland near the Eagle Creek Trail.

Approximately 50 homes were threatened as the blaze turned toward residential areas in Burbank late Friday night, prompting mandatory evacuations. Firefighters encountered punishing heat, with Burbank recording a high of 101 degrees while the Tujunga area reported 96, forecasters said. The 210 Freeway, which the fire hopped over shortly after it ignited Friday, also remained closed Saturday.

The region was under a red flag warning from the National Weather Service until at least Saturday evening as temperatures were expected to climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) with strong winds and low humidity.

On Saturday, The South Coast Air Quality Management District recommended children, elders, and people with respiratory diseases, to maintain inside their homes and to close their doors and windows to avoid bad quality air.

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