“The (Tick) fire had just started and with in minutes surrounded our home. A neighbor ran up the street panicked as the fire was getting closer and scared the kids. Everyone was evacuated minutes before the fire surrounded our homes. Our house was not lost in the fire and nobody was hurt.” Ben Ibarra said of the footage showing his family evacuating their home.
The winds that fanned the Tick fire in Santa Clarita calmed down Saturday, allowing firefighters to expand containment of the destructive blaze and allowing some residents to return home.
The fire, which has consumed more than 4,600 acres and destroyed or damaged at least 18 structures, is 25% contained, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said. Roughly 1,300 firefighters remain on the scene to get an upper hand on the fire before Santa Ana winds kick up again.
“Westerly wind shifts pose a challenge for our firefighters as they may change the potential for rekindle scenarios,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement.
Forecasters are calling for weaker winds, cooler temperatures and higher humidity Saturday that should aid firefighters. But humidity is expected to drop as night falls, zapping the moisture out of the air, said NWS meteorologist Kiely Delerme.
Those drier conditions coupled with expected winds ranging from 20 to 35 mph, and gusts up to 50 mph in Santa Clarita could create conditions ripe for the spread of wildfires, according to the National Weather Service. The area will be under a fire weather watch.
At the height of the blaze, about 40,000 residents were ordered to evacuate their homes. Many residents have been allowed to return home. But mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for Baker Canyon Road from Sierra Highway, and Tick Canyon Road from Abelia Road to Summit Knoll Road, east of Sand Canyon, south of Sierra Highway to Soledad Canyon.
The fire erupted Thursday before 1:45 p.m. along Tick Canyon Road. The winds picked up in the wee hours of Friday morning, causing the fire to breach the 14 Freeway between Sand Canyon and Agua Dulce, burning an additional 700 to 800 acres.
Severe fire and wind conditions prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency for Los Angeles and for Sonoma County, which is grappling with Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn also declared a local emergency for the county Friday.
Fire officials will provide their next update on the Tick fire at 5 p.m.
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