LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Crews Wednesday night continued to battle a brush fire in Santa Clarita that had forced approximately 1,000 people to evacuate the area earlier in the day.
The Calgrove Fire began around 1:30 p.m. along the southbound Golden State (5) Freeway north of the Calgrove Boulevard exit, authorities said.
Officials shut down the 5 Freeway near Gavin Canyon, with traffic diverted to the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, for a time as flames grew during the afternoon.
The fire had spread to 350 acres and was 45 percent contained as of 10 p.m., according to Los Angeles County Fire officials.
A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said approximately 500 homes and 1,000 people, including residents of the Crescent Valley Mobile Estates mobile home park, had been evacuated.
Residents were told they could return around 10 p.m., some visibly shaken as firefighters continued to battle hotspots in the area.
“It was so frightening that I couldn’t even cry,” one woman said.
“A lifetime of memories can go in one afternoon,” added Rick Russell, who chose to stay during the firefight.
Others packed up their belongings and made plans to stay elsewhere.
“Important papers, photos, some clothes,” said Eric Moline, describing what he grabbed first.
“It’s definitely scary for the house,” added Newhall resident Casey Pyke. “But I’m just happy my wife and kids are pretty far away right now.”
More than 450 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze.
A LACoFD spokesperson said one firefighter suffered minor injuries.
The garage of a home was also damaged.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“We’ve got five investigators at the point of origin right now,” LACoFD John Tripp said. “We’re going to try to do our best to determine what the cause was.”
LACoFD was being assisted in the firefight by multiple agencies, including L.A. City Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire, as well as strike teams from across Southern California.
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