A brush fire dubbed the “South Fire” in Newhall, near Santa Clarita, forced mandatory evacuations in several neighborhoods on Saturday. The fire grew to 175 acres with zero percent containment as of approximately 7 p.m.
The blaze closed the 5 Freeway at Calgrove Blvd. in Newhall, near Santa Clarita.
The “South Fire” was first reported at approximately 2:45 p.m. just east of the Golden State (5) Freeway, south of Calgrove Boulevard.
Firefighters immediately called a second alarm due to a need for structure protection in South Canyon. Water-dropping helicopters began assisting firefighters on the ground, and fixed-wing aircraft were requested.
A third alarm was requested about 3:45 p.m. to immediately get more units for structure protection in the La Salle Canyon area.
The northbound 5 Freeway was closed, and traffic quickly backed up in the Newhall Pass, as drivers opted for the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and then surface streets to get around the fire area.
At approximately 4:45 p.m., the “South Fire” had grown to 160 acres with zero percent containment per the LA County Fire Department.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ordered mandatory evacuations for all homes south of Calgrove Blvd. between the 5 Freeway and Creekside Drive: La Salle Canyon Dr.; White Oak Ct.; Heritage Oak Ct.; Ebelden Ave.; Mentry Dr.; Bella Ct.; Cary Ct.; Darcy Ln.; Clearbank Ln.; Briardale Way; Creekside Dr.
Shortly after 5 p.m., all streets south of Maple Street up to Wildwood Canyon Rd were also ordered to evacuate: Calgrove Blvd/Valley St.; Alamos Ln.; Champagne Ln.; Agramonte Dr.; Haskell vista Ln.; Cross St.; Wildwood Rd.; Oakbridge Ln.; Green Crest Dr.
The LA County Sherriff said that the College of the Canyon Physical Education Center was acting as an evacuation center for residents.
The Castaic Animal Shelter was designated as an evacuation center for large animals.
Per the LA County Fire Department, one fire fighter was injured battling the flames due to heat exhaustion.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.