Is Los Angeles burning?
In some areas, the answer is a resounding yes.
A massive fire broke out early Sunday in the Angeles National Forest about 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
No injuries have yet been reported from what is being called the Marek fire or the “Sleeping Giant,” that is burning on the west side of Little Tujunga Canyon, but a house and three motor homes have been destroyed, and about 1,200 residents have been evacuated.
Although major Los Angeles attractions have been unaffected by the wildfires, the Santa Ana winds have pushed smoke, dust and soot into the San Fernando Valley near Universal Studios, and to parts of the San Gabriel Mountains.
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, all individuals are being urged to avoid going outside in wind- or dust-prone areas which can also include the San Bernardino Valley, southwest Riverside County, Orange County, the South Bay-Long Beach area and the Santa Monica-Malibu area.
Up north in the Santa Clarita Valley, Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park is out of reach of the unhealthy air quality, but road closures on both directions of the 210 freeway and parts of the 118 have caused major delays.
The Santa Ana winds have whipped the fire into a blaze that has spread more than 3,700 acres. It is currently about 5 percent contained, the winds are making it impossible for fire officials to forecast when the fire will be fully contained. A “red flag warning” has been issued through the end of day Tuesday, which means that winds could top 25 mph and humidity may drop to 15 percent or lower.
California is prone to wildfires at this time of year due to high winds and dry air. Southern California firefighters are also battling additional fires in the City of Santa Clarita and Porter Ranch.
In Ventura County, a 30-acre wildfire near an oil facility has nearly been contained.
In Napa County in wine country, a brush-fire burned at least 300 acres and destroyed one home before being contained on Sunday.
And a wind-driven fire broke out Sunday on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay, burning about 250 acres and forcing campers to evacuate.
By Managing Editor Sarika Chawla for PeterGreenberg.com.
Remember the last set of California wildfires? We do.
Check out the California Wildfire Crisis: Who Helped, Who Balked as well as Peter’s blog post on the California Wildfires and FEMA Tomfoolery.