By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles city and county firefighters were battling a fast-moving blaze in Sylmar on Thursday night that jumped the 210 Freeway and pushed toward the community, aided by Santa Ana winds, authorities said.
The Saddleridge fire started about 9 p.m. on the north side of the freeway, but with winds gusting up to 60 mph, firebrands soared over the highway to the other side and ignited more dry brush.
Evacuations have been ordered for Oakridge Estates, Glenoaks and the Foothill area. “If you live in that area, please just pack up and leave now,” Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department said during an interview with Fox 11.
The fire was at least 60 acres and growing. An industrial area was burning, Stewart said, and nearby residences were threatened.
Firefighters were focusing their air attack on the rear of the fire in the hills, Stewart said, while firefighters on the ground were defending structures.
The California Highway Patrol shut down the 210 Freeway in both directions near the Yarnell Street offramp and 5 Freeway interchange.
CHP dispatch logs showed many motorists calling 911 reporting they were stuck on the freeway because of the fire. One person said they were scared that the network of high-voltage power lines that dominate the skyline in that area could fall onto the freeway.
Those same power lines appeared to hinder firefighters’ efforts to drop water directly onto the flames as winds pushed the water sideways.
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