Multiple wildfires break out across LA: Terrifying footage shows hundreds of firefighters battling to contain growing blazes in Southern California as one man is killed and 100,000 are forced to flee their homes
- The Saddleridge Fire broke out after 9pm on Thursday in Sylmar, California along the 210 Freeway
- Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for at least 25,000 homes in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods of Los Angeles
- As of 8am Friday, 4,700 acres of land were scorched with zero containment, according to fire department
- Meanwhile nearby Sandalwood Fire burned after a garbage truck threw burning trash on the side of the road
- Lois Arvickson, 89, has been missing since Thursday after Sandalwood Fire swept through mobile home park
- The first fatality was confirmed after a man in his late 50s went into cardiac arrest on Thursday night
Terrifying footage shows crews battling a California wildfire fueled by winds as homes burned and thousands of people were forced to evacuate.
The fire, known as the Saddleridge Fire, broke out after 9pm on Thursday in Sylmar, north of Los Angeles, along the 210 Freeway near Yarnell Street and jumped the highway, according to KTLA.
Multiple freeways, including Interstate 5, Interstate 210, and Interstate 405 northbound were shut down at least partially, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Fire officials said the Saddleridge Fire consumed more than 4,700 acres by 8am on Friday with zero containment. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods affecting about 100,000 people on the northern edge of the city in the San Fernando Valley area.
One person had died after an adult male believed to be in his late 50s went into cardiac arrest on Thursday night as a result of the blaze.
Paramedics began performing CPR and transported the man to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, it was announced at a joint press conference of the Los Angeles Fire Department and Police Department.
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Terrifying footage shows crews battling a California wildfire fueled by winds as homes burned and thousands of people were forced to evacuate. Pictured: Firefighters work to extinguish the Saddleridge Fire in Porter Ranch on Friday
The fire, known as the Saddleridge Fire, broke out after 9pm on Thursday in Sylmar, north of Los Angeles. Pictured: A helicopter drops water to help fight flames as the Saddleridge Fire in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles on Friday
The blaze began by the 210 Freeway near Yarnell Street and jumped the highway. Pictured: Flames from the Saddleridge fire make a run up a hillside in Porter Ranch on Friday morning
Fire officials said the Saddleridge Fire consumed more than 4,700 acres by 8am on Friday with zero containment. Pictured: A singed rabbit jumps over a fire as the Saddleridge Fire progresses in Porter Ranch on Friday morning
Helicopters made repeated water drops as 1,000 firefighters on the ground attacked flames in and around homes. Pictured: Water fighter planes dumped gallons on the still-burning Saddleridge Fire on Friday morning
This map shows where the various fires in California are blazing, including the most recent Saddleridge Fire
This map shows where the fires in Los Angeles are burning including the evacuation zones. Mandatory evacuation zones are colored in red
‘As you can imagine the embers from the wind have been traveling a significant distance which causes another fire to start,’ he said.
Dozens of schools and universities were closed as administrators urged to students to stay safe.
On Thursday night, drivers shared terrifying footage of the flames raging on either side of the freeway before it was shut down.
Emergency services are seen at intervals along the highway in the dramatic footage, as the fire burns orange into the night’s sky.
In one of the videos the driving conditions become so bad due to the smoke that cars begin to pull over at the side of the road.
In separate videos, part of the footage shows huge flames rising up into the sky from a building as helicopters circle above the area.
Land further behind in the background is also on fire, with large areas of grass burning.
Much of northern California, from San Francisco to the Oregon border, remains under a state ‘red flag’ fire alert.
A firefighter walks through the smoke after battling the Saddleridge Fire all night in Porter Ranch on Friday
More than 4,000 acres burned overnight and more than 12,000 homes were under mandatory evacuation. Pictured: Smoke over Sylmar on Friday morning
Smoke and fires continued to blaze as daylight broke on Friday morning near Sylmar
Multiple freeways, including Interstate 5, Interstate 210, and Interstate 405 northbound were shut down, according to the California Highway Patrol. Pictured: A firefighter waits for water as the Saddleridge fire flares up near homes in Sylmar on Thursday
A firefighter works to extinguish the Saddleridge Fire in Porter Ranch early Friday morning with a bucket of water
Meanwhile, the nearby Sandlewood fire continued to rage on.
According to Riverside County officials, the fire started when trash being hauled caught fire and the driver dumped the load alongside the road to prevent the truck from being set ablaze.
Dry grass quickly ignited and winds gusting to 50mph blew the fire into the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park, about 75 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Fire officials were investigating what caused the trash in the truck to catch fire in Calimesa.
No injuries have been reported aside from a firefighter who suffered a ‘minor’ eye injury and was transported to a hospital for treatment.
‘We need people to leave now while they can,’ fire officials said during a press conference Friday morning, according to FOX 11. ‘If you stay in [mandatory evacuation] areas we cannot guarantee that we will save you.’
Only 10 percent of 800 acres of the Sandalwood Fire contained as of Friday morning, the Riverside County Fire Department said.
Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs on Friday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.
Southern California Edison turned off electricity to about 20,000 people in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Kern counties, but warned that thousands more could lose service as Santa Ana winds gained strength.
Winds gusted dangerously as forecast before calming in Northern California, where Pacific Gas & Electric faced hostility and second-guessing over its widespread shutoffs.
Governor Gavin Newsom criticized PG&E and ordinary customers complained about the inconveniences caused by the unprecedented blackouts that began midweek.
Jerry Rowe uses a garden hose to save his home on Beaufait Avenue from the Saddleridge fire in Granada Hills on Friday
Lois Arvickson, 89 (pictured), of Calimesa, has been missing since Thursday night after the Sandalwood Fire swept through the mobile home park where she lived
‘We have found multiple cases of damage or hazards’ caused by heavy winds, including fallen branches that came in contact with overhead lines,’ said Sumeet Singh, a vice president for the utility company. ‘If they were energized, they could’ve ignited.’
Because of the dangerous weather in the forecast, PG&E cut power Wednesday to an estimated two million people in an area.
Amid the chaos, a man says his 89-year-old mother has been missing since Thursday night after the wind-driven wildfire swept through a Southern California mobile home park, destroying dozens of residences.
Lois Arvickson called her son, Don Turner, from her cellphone to say she was evacuating shortly after the blaze was reported in the Calimesa area.
‘She said she’s getting her purse and she’s getting out, and the line went dead,’ he said.
Arvickson’s neighbors saw in her garage as flames approached, according to Turner. A short time later the neighbors saw the garage on fire, but they don’t know if she’d managed to escape, he said.
Turner said he’s been checking hospitals.
Riverside County fire officials said they’re still trying to determine if anybody is unaccounted for after 74 structures were decimated.
Previously authorities said they responded to ‘numerous’ medical emergencies at the park. Several residents were transported to hospitals but there were no details on their conditions, county fire Capt Fernando Herrera said.
Linda Klosek, 70, and her daughter Stacey Holloway, 43, had gone grocery shopping and were on their way back home to Villa Calimesa when they saw their neighbors evacuating.
‘You couldn’t even see anything, the smoke was so thick,’ Linda said.
From the evacuation center they watched on TV as flames destroyed their home.
‘When you’re watching it, it’s like someone else’s home,’ Stacey said. They returned $60 worth of groceries to the store because now ‘there’s no place to put it.’
The 2018 wildfire season last year was the deadliest and most destructive ever recorded in California, with about 100 residents and firefighters killed.
More than 8,500 fires erupted, scorching more than 1.8 million acres and causing billions of dollars of damage.