The fire, dubbed the La Tuna Fire after the canyon where it erupted, has already burned through 8,000 acres of land, and the heatwave in the area along with erratic winds are proving major obstacles for firefighters trying control the blaze.
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It’s unclear when the freeway will completely reopen, according to the LA Times.
The enormous blaze led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighborhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.
‘We can’t recall anything larger,’ Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas during a 10am news conference Saturday.
‘There is a lot of un-burned fuel in this area,’ he added, noting this is the first fire in the area in 33 years.
Fire in thick brush that has not burned in decades was slowly creeping down a rugged hillside on Saturday toward houses, with temperatures in the area approaching 100 degrees, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert.
Authorities warned of erratic winds that could force them to widen the evacuation zone, after the fire destroyed one house in Los Angeles on Saturday.
‘Our biggest concern is the wind and weather,’ the chief said. ‘The erratic weather is our number one challenge. If there’s no wind, this is a relatively easy fire to put out. But when the wind changes, it changes our priorities because other properties become at risk.’
The fire could make air unhealthy to breathe in parts of Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, and nearby suburbs, the South Coast Air Quality Management District said in an advisory.