California Wildfire Forces 5,000 To Evacuate

Fire crews from all around Los Angeles County stepped up to help fight a wild fire in Calbasas, California, reportedly started Saturday when a car crashed in to power lines. Photo from City of Calabasis/Twitter

CALABASAS, Calif., June 5 (UPI) — Hundreds of firefighters are battling a wild fire in Los Angeles County as helicopters dump water on the blaze and thousands evacuate the area.

The wildfire broke out Saturday afternoon burning about 500 acres in and around Calabasas — a relatively affluent area that is home to a few celebrities, includingJessica Simpson and Toni Braxton, CNN reported.

About 5,000 residents have been evacuated thus far, most being forced out by a mandatory order, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey A. Gordon. No homes or injuries were reported as of Saturday night, the Los Angeles County Fire Department announced on Twitter.

L.A. Fire Capt. Keith Mora said the initial call was for a car crash into a power pole with power lines down. Firefighters in the field also reported seeing power lines down.

Deputies with the sheriff’s department said a black truck struck a pole in the 2300 block of Mulholland Highway. Witnesses told investigators the truck was speeding before it hit the power pole, knocking it over and causing a transformer to explode, which sparked the fire, ABC7 reported.

Deputies helped fight the fire, the department reported on Twitter.

Some buildings are at risk and fire officials said nearby Camp Wildcraft, a new campground set to open for the first time on June 13, appears to be a complete loss.

Camp Wildcraft spokeswoman Shari Davis confirmed that the camp has sustained heavy damage but said firefighters were able to save the oldest home in Calabasas, the Masson Residence.

Neighborhoods in Calabasas Highlands, Eddingham and Adamsville were evacuated, officials said. Sheriff’s officials urged evacuees to head to Agoura High School where the high school and the Los Angeles Region Red Cross will provide residents with food, water, information and emotional support.

The City of Calabasas ordered horses and large animals to be evacuated to Pierce College, while small animals, like dogs and cats, were to be evacuated to the Agoura Animal Shelter.

Ash from the fire was reported in North Hollywood and Burbank, and even as far as Arcadia.


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