Saddleridge Fire: Thousands of acres burn in Los Angeles, prompting evacuations

A fast-moving wildfire has scorched thousands of acres in northern Los Angeles, destroying homes and prompting officials to order thousands of mandatory evacuations.

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The Saddleridge Fire began burning around 9 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles's Sylmar neighborhood, according to The Los Angeles Times and CNN. Fire officials said 60 acres of land were burning Thursday night. By Friday morning more than 4,600 acres were on fire.

"It's been pretty crazy to watch," Josh Stokes, a resident of Los Angeles's Porter Ranch neighborhood, told KCBS-TV. "It's moving really fast."

Firefighters described the blaze as "extremely dynamic." High winds, including gusts around 60 mph, helped drive the fire toward the west, according to the Times and KTLA.

"It'll likely end up in neighboring Ventura County before it's said and done," Deputy Chief David Richardson of the Los Angeles Fire Department said early Friday, according to The Washington Post.

No injuries have been reported, though authorities said houses and at least one commercial building have been destroyed.

Authorities have ordered the evacuations of more than 12,000 homes as hundreds of firefighters continue to battle the blaze.

Hector Landeros, a resident of Sylmar, told CNN early Friday that he saw "a lot of people trying to get into their neighborhoods" despite the flames.

"In some areas, the streets have started to empty but at the front lines people are watching, waiting on the sidewalk, not really knowing what to do," he said.

The Saddleridge Fire was one of several blazes burning Friday in California. In nearby Riverside County, the Sandalwood Fire burned, destroying at least 74 buildings and damaging 16 others. In Mariposa County, nearly 5,000 acres had been burned by Friday morning in the Briceburg Fire, which sparked Sunday and destroyed at least one building.

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