Rye Fire in Santa Clarita Grows to 7000 Acres; Evacuations Lifted


Firefighters have made some progress against the Rye Fire, which has burned 7,000 acres in Santa Clarita. Evacuations are still in effect for the Westridge community in Stevenson Ranch and the Valencia Travel Village RV Resort.

While no update was given Thursday on how many residents are being evacuated, Wednesday night estimates put the total number of evacuees at around 110,000 across southern California.

A fire that erupted around 9:30 Tuesday morning shut down Interstate 5 in both directions and forced multiple evacuations in Santa Clarita.

By 2 p.m. the freeway was reopened in both directions.

"Traffic is jammed in the area", the city said.

It was first reported about 5 acres but quickly grew to 200 acres and the response was upgraded, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. The fire started early Tuesday morning in the Kagel Canyon area.

The fire is near Valencia, California near Magic Mountain.

Students at Rancho Pico Junior High School, West Ranch High School and Oak Hills Elementary School in the Westridge area were bused to College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita city officials said. Rye Canyon Loop was also closed, along with state Route 126 from Copperhill Drive to the 5 Freeway.

Rye Canyon Loop to Kelly Johnson Parkway is also closed. "Parents are being asked to go to College of the Canyons and not try and go to the schools". All Simi Valley Unified School District campuses were closed Wednesday "due to poor air quality and potential fire dangers from neighboring events", the superintendent, Dr. Jason Peplinski, said in a statement.

Winds will continue to be a concern for firefighters as the high wind warnings are extended into Friday and red flag warnings into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.