Massive Wild Fire Rips Through The L.A. Area

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What started on Friday as a brush fire along the highway, quickly moved up the hills and is now encompassing 51-square miles in the Santa Clarita Valley of Southern California.

Dubbed the Sand Fire, it has been burning about 10,000 acres per day since starting Friday afternoon. Chief Mike Wakoski, incident commander, commented. “An acre is a football field, so imagine that — 10,000 football fields per day.”

High temperatures and shifting winds are to blame for the fire gaining such massive strength. “This fire, what we’ve seen in 72 hours, is almost unprecedented,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Dennis Cross. “We’d have to go back a long way to compare a fire to this. And, we’re not through with this thing yet.”

Santa Clarita Valley is just north of Los Angeles and many neighboring cities have been experiencing the effects, including smoke and ash covering their streets and cars. The origin of the fire is still under investigation.

Thousands have been forced to evacuate from their homes and by Sunday night, eighteen homes had already been lost. More than 1,500 homes remain threatened. Amidst the fire zone, a man’s body was founded scorched in a vehicle. This is the first casualty that has been reported.

Firefighters have been working to battle the massive Sand Fire but so far only 10% is contained. Thousands of people are also helping fight the blaze, including 341 engines and 21 helicopters, officials said.