La Tuna Fire continues raging, burns over 3000 acres

A fast-spreading brush fire north of Los Angeles forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes Friday, as firefighters struggled against triple-digit temperatures and erratic winds to contain the blaze, officials said.

The La Tuna Canyon fire burns in the hills above Burbank, California, early September 2, 2017.

The fire prompted the shutdown of the 210 Freeway eastbound at Sunland Boulevard and westbound at Lowell Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The blaze in thick brush that has not burned in decades was slowly creeping down a rugged hillside on Saturday towards houses, with temperatures in the area approaching 38 degrees Celsius, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert.

Hundreds of people have fled their homes in Los Angeles to escape a fire described as the biggest in the city's history.

Cal Fire said on its website that the fire near Oroville had consumed almost 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) and was 30 percent contained.

"There is a lot of unburned fuel" in the area, Terrazas warned, noting that the last fire in the area was at least 30 years ago.

Some 500 firefighters have been deployed to fight the fire.

Meanwhile in OR, 140 hikers were being evacuated Saturday after a fire broke out southeast of Portland near the Eagle Creek Trail.

"The groups are believed to be far enough away from fire (not) to be in any immediate danger", said Joel Ives, spokesman with the Hood River County sheriff's office. However, no injuries have been reported yet.

The La Tuna fire has reportedly grown to about 8,000 acres, prompting mandatory evacuations in some areas, reports Xinhua news agency.

Firefighters worked to surround the blaze as multiple choppers performed water drops "to take the heat out of the head of the fire", Scott said.

The fire could grow even larger today if hot, dry and windy weather conditions continue.

The Tankers and their neighbors waited outside their homes and watched periodic flare-ups - mindful that a switch in the wind could force them to evacuate.

"Despite fire size, we remain confident in the plan in place and the work all firefighters at the incident are doing in defending property and lives", the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Burbank police went door to door to issue evacuations to inform residents who stayed behind, or who were unaware of the threat.

  • Tracy Klein