Fast-spreading wildfire prompts evacuations in Southern California

Los Angeles city and county firefighters battled a fast-spreading wildfire that ignited at around 9 p.m. Thursday, prompting evacuations in the northern part of the county.

Santa Ana winds of up to 60 mph helped the Saddleridge Fire jump two freeways and grow to more than 1,600 acres with zero containment by 1 a.m. Friday, the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed.

Residents in the Oakridge Estates, Glenoaks and the Foothill areas of the Sylmar neighborhood and Porter Ranch to the Ventura County line were under mandatory evacuation as the fire continued to move out of control, affecting at least 1,900 homes, LAFD said.

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At least one commercial structure has been destroyed so far and several others are threatened, Fox 11 reported.

The Wendy Fire in nearby Newbury Park was burning at 90 acres and 25 percent containment around 1 a.m. Friday. 

The Wendy Fire in nearby Newbury Park was burning at 90 acres and 25 percent containment around 1 a.m. Friday.  (Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations Section/Twitter)

“If you live in that area, please just pack up and leave now,” Margaret Stewart of LAFD told Fox 11.

An evacuation center was opened at the Sylmar Recreation Center and was set to open at the Granada Hills Recreation Center around 2:30 a.m.

Several other smaller fires, including the Sandalwood Fire in Calimesa, the Reche Fire in Moreno Valley and the Wendy Fire in Newbury Park continued to burn into the early morning hours of Friday as well.

No injuries have been reported yet.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's largest utility company, shut off power to thousands of customers in northern and central California this week to mitigate the risk of wildfires amid the dry, windy weather.

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The Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating the cause.