210 Freeway Reopens, Evacuations Lifted as Firefighters Make Progress on La Tuna Fire


The 210 Freeway has been reopened in both directions and all mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted as firefighters began to gain advantage over the La Tuna fire that’s been burning since Friday, the Los Angeles Fire Department said Sunday night in a joint statement with multiple departments that have been battling the blaze.

The lanes were reopened at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Caltrans says that one lane in both directions will remained closed between Lowell Avenue and Sunland Boulevard.

The statement added that all evacuation orders have been lifted, with voluntary evacuations remaining on a stretch of Country Club Drive in Burbank that’s just east of Sunset Canyon and where Olive Avenue ends. As reported at the L.A. Times , more than 700 residents were evacuated at the height of the fire.

Firefighters say that, as of Sunday evening, the La Tuna fire had burned through 7,003 acres in the regions that include La Tuna Canyon Park and the areas surrounding it. The fire was at 30 percent containment by Sunday night. As noted at City News Service , firefighters were aided yesterday by cooler temperatures, a brief occurrence of rain, and a bank of clouds that blocked the sun. Authorities said that heavy winds, however, presented a challenge.

“There are still embers that are smoldering and these strong winds could move those embers and help them to reignite. So we’ve turned a corner today, but this is still not over,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a briefing, according to CNS. On Saturday, the mayor called the blaze the “largest fire in the history of Los Angeles,” according to NBC News .

The LAFD tweeted Saturday a photo of the areas touched by the fire:

#LaTunaFire General burn area of fire +5,000 acres 10% contained 1 house lost Detailed evac map pending List here https://t.co/YrRAiGk9Tv pic.twitter.com/KduKAoUzdJ

— LAFD (@LAFD) September 2, 2017 According to the LAFD, 3 residences have been destroyed in the fire, while one has been damaged. Five people have received medical attention in regards to the fire. Three firefighters have suffered heat-related illnesses, and one was treated for minor burns. One volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team was evacuated for medical reasons. None of the injuries or illnesses are regarded as serious.

Authorities said at a Monday morning briefing that while there are no “active fires” left, the winds may impede firefighters’ attempts to increase the containment percentage.

Authorities added that firefighters have encountered one instance of a drone “incursion.”

“If a drone is in the air, we can not fly,” said authorities, warning residents to not fly drones into the area, as they present a hazard to helicopters.

More than 1,000 firefighters across multiple departments have responded to the fire. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Sunday morning. [Click for More]