Evacuations Ordered As Fire Quickly Scorches 200 Acres in Castaic Canyons

CASTAIC CANYONS (CNS) - A brush fire blackened 200 acres in about 30 minutes this afternoon and quickly threatened about a dozen structures in the Castaic Canyons area near Santa Clarita.

The Martindale Fire broke out at 3 p.m. in the 34700 block of Bouquet Canyon Road, about two miles southwest of the Bouquet Reservoir, and fire crews arrived at 3:09 p.m., according to Franklin Lopez of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

About 10-12 structures were threatened by 3:25 p.m., the fire department reported.

Evacuation orders were issued for residents who live from Bouquet Reservoir Dam, south to mile marker 11.5, and evacuation warnings were issued for residents who live from mile marker 11.5 to Texas Canyon Ranger Station at 30800 Bouquet Canyon Road, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Los Angeles County was under a red flag warning for extreme fire danger at the time the blaze broke out due to high temperatures, low humidity and moderate Santa Ana winds. The warning was scheduled to expire at 5 p.m.

The Angeles National Forest tweeted at 3:36 p.m. that it was responding to a ``reported 200+ acre fire, NE of Santa Clarita, moving South with rapid rate of spread in medium brush. Gusty winds. ANF has a 2nd Alarm activated, with air tankers and additional resources on the way.''

More than 12 aircraft were dispatched to battle the blaze, including five airtankers, two Super Scoopers and three helicopters.

Winds were blowing about 5-10 mph, with gusts about 15 mph, near the blaze, according to the National Weather Service. At the ridgetops, winds blew about 10-20 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Humidity was reported at about 10% amid 90-95 degree temperatures.

The Angeles National Forest reported "rapid growth'' in the south-southeast, where the flames were being pushed by winds into thick brush.

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