SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com/AP) — Los Angeles County authorities on Sunday ordered new evacuations as unpredictable winds pushed a destructive wildfire out of forest land toward homes near the Antelope Valley.
The Sand Fire has already destroyed more than 33,000 acres and 18 homes and structures, authorities said.
After being closed in both directions for hours, the 14 Freeway reopened.
More than 1,600 personnel are battling the blaze.
Residents of some areas of Acton south of State Route 14 were told to leave Sunday as the massive blaze moves to the northeast after destroying 18 homes near Santa Clarita. Officials didn’t say how many people would be affected.
The evacuations included Agua Dulce Canyon Road, north to the 14 Freeway; Crown Valley, north to the 14 Freeway; all of Soledad Canyon Road between those two areas and all of Bootlegger Canyon.
Officials warn winds could strengthen as the day goes on, creating more challenges for crews working in steep, inaccessible terrain at the edge of Angeles National Forest.
At least 1,500 homes remain evacuated in the Santa Clarita area, where 18 houses were gutted by fast-moving flames Saturday. Fire officials said earlier Sunday that residents of some areas of Sand Canyon near Santa Claritawould be allowed to return Sunday afternoon. But unpredictable winds led officials to rescind that decision.
Smoke from the 34-square-mile fire is visible across the region. The blaze, which broke out around 2 p.m. Friday, was just 10 percent contained Sunday afternoon.
RELATED LINK: Road Closures, Evacuations Ordered For Sand Fire
Hart High School at 24825 Newhall Ave. in Santa Clarita is the official evacuation center.
A body was found in a car Saturday evening in an area ordered evacuated but it is yet to be determined if a fire played a role in the person’s death.
In the Acton area, several mandatory evacuations were also ordered Sunday:
Sierra Highway @ Shady Lane to Sierra Hwy at the 14.
Escondido at the 14 to Sierra Hwy at the 14.
Evacuation centers are in place @ Highland High School (39055 25th Street West, Palmdale)
@Hart High School (24825 Newhall Ave., Santa Clarita)
@Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center (11075 Foothill Drive, Sylmar.)
Large animals are being taken to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds for shelter.
The fire continues to burn to the northeast.
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