Firefighters Battling ``South'' Brushfire Reach 75 Percent Containment

VALENCIA (CNS) - A brush fire that has charred about 175 acres in Santa Clarita was 75 percent contained as of 8:45 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and L.A. County Fire Department.

The ``South Fire'' was reported at 2:50 p.m. Saturday just east of the Golden State (5) Freeway, south of Calgrove Boulevard, fire officials said.

By evening, it was 30 percent contained by lines of cleared vegetation and checked to the extent that evacuated residents were allowed to return home, sheriff's officials said.

Firefighters remained in the area overnight mopping up hot spots and building more containment lines, officials said.

One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Firefighters responding to the blaze 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. Saturday to immediately get more units for structure protection in the La Salle Canyon area. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, it had been threatening 200 structures.

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. Additional evacuations were ordered for all streets south of Maple Street up to Wildwood Canyon Road, Calgrove Boulevard, Valley Street, Oakbridge, Alamos, Haskell Vista and Champagne lanes, Agramonte and Green Crest drives, Cross Street and Wildwood Road.

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