The second major fire began Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County and quickly enveloped more than 4,000 acres.
The fire threatened homes toward the top of the hill on the east side of the freeway. Winds were about 15 miles per hour. So far it has consumed at least 45,000 acres and burned down at least 150 structures, including a 200-unit apartment complex and Vista Del Mar, a psychiatric hospital.
The Creek fire, reported at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, is burning in Kagel Canyon above Sylmar and the Hansen Dam Recreation Area.
Mandatory evacuations are under way in Bel Air as the brush fire erupted near the Getty Center and climbed up the hillside.
"We have no reports of any civilian fatalities or injuries, which speaks to the fact people are evacuating", county Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for Lopez Canyon, Kagel Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Cabrera said.
The Foothill (210) Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway on the west and the Glendale (2) Freeway and aren't expected to be reopened until at least later this morning.
Some voluntary evacuations were recommended in the general area, including east of Veterans Park to Pacoima Canyon; Between Sayre and Polk streets north of the 210 Freeway; and between Polk and Bledsoe streets.
An evacuation center had been opened at the Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick St., but that center was closed as the fire closed in. And the Los Angeles Unified School District said the student bodies of Hubbard and Harding schools in Sylmar would be redirected to San Fernando High School at 11133 O'Melveny Ave.in San Fernando. Authorities temporarily closed the freeway, leaving many unable to get to their jobs. There was no immediate word if classes would resume Wednesday.
About 125 firefighters and two helicopters were at the scene battling the blaze, Stewart said. Santa Ana winds and low humidity are making the firefight hard. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so".