A wildfire that broke out along the northbound 14 Freeway near Sand Canyon has charred more than 33,000 acres of the Santa Clarita Valley since Friday, officials said at a press conference Monday morning. It remains only 10 percent contained.
The Sand Fire burned through approximately 33,117 acres this weekend, or 51 square miles, and threatens 10,000 homes and 200 commercial buildings, personnel from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. So far, the fire has destroyed 18 structures and thousands of residents have been ordered to evacuate.
One man was found dead on Saturday night near a burn area, though officials are still investigating whether his death was related to the fire.
A combination of excessive heat, low humidity and extreme drought is fueling the blaze, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said at a Saturday news conference. The conditions have made for an unusually active wildfire season: Fires earlier this summer in Calabasas, Duarte, and Stevenson Ranch burned through thousands of acres.
The Sand Fire has been particularly ferocious, noted John Tripp, a Los Angeles County deputy fire chief.
“We’ve never seen a fire come into Sand Canyon like that,” Tripp told the Los Angeles Times. “All the experience we’ve had with fires is out the window.”