SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Cell phone video Thursday showed bright orange brush fire flames ripping through College of the Canyons’ parking lot with student cars on fire.
Ten cars burned and evening classes had to be canceled. No injuries were reported.
It came as rain beat down throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. There were fast-moving thunderstorms with strong winds and lightning, but fire officials can’t say yet what sparked the campus blaze.
Kat Schmidt works in Santa Clarita “I thought it was hailing, honestly and it was serious rain but thank god for that rain because if we didn’t have it that fire would not go out.”
Cell phone video from nearby Castaic shows a smokey sky with a line of stopped vehicles. A brush fire came tearing across the 5 freeway. Fire investigators are still looking into the what ignited it.
It was 87 degrees in Santa Clarita as of 10 p.m.
Lightning Forces Evacuations At Santa Monica Beach
Things are back to normal in Santa Monica, but earlier Thursday evening the beach was evacuated because of the fast-moving storm.
On one of the hottest days of the year with thousands seeking relief at Santa Monica beaches, lightning forced the crowds to evacuate.
“There was thunder and lightning on the beach and the ocean, so I went inside,” beachgoer Henry Segal said.
Monsoonal moisture flowing into Southern California unleashed thunderstorms and downpours Thursday evening. Video posted on social media from West Hollywood showed the fast-moving the storm drenching cars and streets.
It was a similar scene in Studio City where the gusty winds caused trees to sway and the rain created puddles, but soon after the sun returned it brought a beautiful sky.
The operator of the state’s power grid predicted an all-time record of electrical demand because of the heat. A statewide flex alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, has been issued from 1pm to 10pm Friday.
Inland Empire Gets A Variety Of Weather
If you didn’t like the weather in the Inland Empire Thursday, all you had to do was wait five minutes and it would change.
“We walk out it’s hot. We come back from school, it’s going crazy with rain. Come back 20 minutes later, it’s windy, hot, it’s been crazy for us,” Paulina Gallegos said.
It seemed like Mother Nature couldn’t quite make up her mind.
“It was hot, it was humid, it rained, it was windy. There was thunder, there was lightning,” Eric Garcia said.
A lightning strike caused a city-wide power outage in Colton during the hottest parts of the day.
“There was nothing on, everything was off. Not even Denny’s, nothing was on,” Orlando Chavez said.
The afternoon rain did bring the temperatures back down into the double digits. But it didn’t provide that much relief.
People here thought the summer was nearly over.
“I thought it was done, I thought August was just going to be a breeze. Now it’s hitting us hard this last week,” Garcia said.
They say after the last few days, fall can’t come soon enough.
“I can’t wait, I’m ready to just get my pumpkin spice everything, I can’t wait. I’m done with this,” Gallegos said.