LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles fire and police departments Sunday held an evacuation exercise in Mandeville Canyon, amid concerns that this year’s drought conditions are similar to what caused the disastrous wildfire there in 1978.

Officials hoped the drill would raise awareness among residents that they need to be ready to evacuate when ordered.

Members from the two departments kicked off the drill 9:45 a.m. at Paul Revere Charter Middle School in Brentwood with the LA County Alert notifying residents of the need to evacuate, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department statement.

The LAFD took the drill seriously, deploying the same resources needed for a red flag alert.

Incident commanders tested the evacuation plan, noting any needs for improvement.

The exercise was followed by a Community Safety Fair around noon at Paul Revere Charter Middle School, authorities said.

There were 11 major brush fires in four counties during a single Santa Ana wind event in October of 1978 that killed three people, injured at least 50 and destroyed more than 200 homes, according to the LAFD.

The Mandeville Canyon blaze burned 6,130 acres, destroyed 30 homes and severely damaged 20.


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(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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