VALENCIA (CNS) - Los Angeles County firefighters evacuated a neighborhood of houses and horse properties and called for more air support as a fast-moving, three-alarm brush fire churned through more than 170 acres and closed the 5 Freeway at Valencia area in Santa Clarita today.
The ``South Fire'' was reported about 2:50 p.m. just east of the Golden State (5) Freeway, south of Calgrove Boulevard, fire officials said. As if 5 p.m. it was threatening 200 structures. 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. Fire officials requested two additional fixed-wing tankers and one Heli-Tanker, bring the airpower to five tankers and five helicopters.
Evacuations were ordered on Ebelden Avenue, La Salle Canyon, Mentry and Creekside drives, White Oak, Valley Oak, Heritage Oak, Bella and Cary courts, Darcy and Clearbank lanes and Briardale Way, deputies said.
The northbound 5 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.