SUN VALLEY ( – A massive brush fire burning downhill in the Sun Valley and Burbank area Saturday is being called the biggest fire by acreage in the history of the city of Los Angeles.

The La Tuna Fire was just 10 percent contained Saturday night, and has already consumed more than 5,800 acres. The fire spread into Burbank overnight and was active on both sides of the 210 Freeway, which was shut down in both directions between the 118 and 2 freeways. Firefighters were battling triple-digit heat and unpredictable winds for the second consecutive day.

Mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders had been issued for 730 homes: 300 in Burbank, 250 in Glendale and 180 in the city of L.A. Evacuation orders for Burbank were lifted around 10 p.m. Fire officials urged residents in the affected areas to be prepared to leave immediately if more evacuations orders are given, however.

The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that two homes were destroyed Saturday, including a home near a water tank at Verdugo Crestline and Alene drives in Tujunga. There have been no reported injuries so far.

LAFD said the fire is a slow burning “backing” fire, meaning that it is burning downhill. Crews have set up resources at the base of hills to defend homes. Erratic winds are the greatest threat to the firefight.

“The biggest factor is weather and the wind,” LAFD Battalion Chief Ralph Terrazas said during a news conference at the department’s command post in the parking lot of the Hanson Dam at Osborne Street and Foothill Boulevard. “If there is no wind, this fire is relatively easy to put out. The wind changes, it changes our priorities.”

The blaze broke out for unknown reasons at 1:25 p.m. Friday near the 10800 block of La Tuna Canyon Road, just south of the 210 Freeway. About a half-acre of medium brush was on fire when the first crews arrived Friday afternoon. Wind-blown embers sparked a spot fire on the north side of the freeway, and by 4 p.m. Friday, firefighters were battling flames on both sides of the freeway as the fire raced up a hillside of the Verdugo Mountains in the direction of Burbank.

Authorities began calling for mandatory evacuations at 10:30 p.m. Friday for the Brace Canyon Park area of Burbank when the fire jumped the ridgeline and when firefighters performed structure defense operations to protect homes in the area.

“The wind, Friday afternoon, was very erratic. It switched multiple times,” said Terrazas, adding that there have been no firefighter injuries. “We’re constantly evaluating and it’s dependent upon the wind shifts. Our priority is saving property. We’re evaluating that at all points of the fire. Five thousand acres is significant. Like the mayor said, the last fire (like this) was 30 to 40 years ago. So there’s a lot of fuel to burn.”

He also advised all homeowners in the area to clear any brush on their properties to give firefighters a better chance at savings their homes.

About 500 firefighters are working on the blaze now, additional resources have been requested from the state, and about 100 L.A. firefighters are expected back from Texas soon, where they’ve been helping survivors from Hurricane Harvey, officials said. Four fixed-wing airtankers have been ordered to fight the blaze as well.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday evening declared a local emergency.

“The La Tuna Canyon Fire is an emergency that requires all available resources to protect our residents and keep our homes and other structures out of harm’s way. We are grateful for the men and women of LAFD, and all our partner agencies, for their heroic efforts to attempt to bring the fire under control and to keep people and their homes safe,” Garcetti said in a statement. “I have signed a Declaration of Local Emergency that directs relevant departments in the City of Los Angeles to take all necessary steps to protect life and property in the area affected by the fire. This declaration also requests that the Governor declare an emergency — so that state and federal assistance can be provided to the City as quickly as possible.”

“We are worried about the fire hooking, of course, into the southeast, into Glendale and working its way up from there,” Garcetti said. “We have firefighters confining this (brush fire) as it goes.”

In Tujunga, mandatory evacuations are in place in the McGroarty Park area (McGroarty to Valaho), while voluntary evacuations have been urged for Aileen and Hillhaven, McGroarty from Oro Vista to Plainview, Alene Drive to Hillhaven Avenue, Reverier, Glen O Peace Parkway, Tranquil Drive, Inspiration Way, Tranquil Place, Hillhaven Place and the Haines Canyon Area.

In Sunland, voluntary evacuations have been urged for Shadow Island Drive and Wormom Avenue South of Sunland Boulevard.

Burbank residents living on Amigos Drive or Antigua Drive have been told they may return home.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for the Glendale communities of Glenwood Oaks and Mountain Oaks at 11 a.m. Saturday due to the risk of a power outage.

Evacuation centers are in place in Burbank at McCambridge Park, 1515 Glenoaks Blvd.; in Sunland at Sunland Recreation Center, 8651 Foothill Blvd.; in Glendale at the Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road; and in La Crescenta at Crescenta Valley High School, 2900 Community Ave.

Pets are being welcomed at all the evacuation centers, and officials caution that animals should not be left behind.

“I want to say this loud and clear that folks who leave their homes, we have police assets who will stay in the neighborhood,” Garcetti said. “Do not be nervous of anybody who would take advantage of a tragedy like this and try to get into those neighborhoods, you will be caught.”

“What we see is a fire that we can contain ultimately,” he said.

Firefighters used night-vision goggles to make overnight water drops on the blaze, said Margaret Stewart said of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

(©2017 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.)

Comments (39)
  1. rytwinger says:

    To looters, you will be caught and we’ll shake our finger at you. In my area, they’d be shot on sight…to kill.

    1. Susan Smith says:

      I am surprised they are not warning them they are out of participation trophies and they have counselors standing by to help them with their hurt feelings.

    2. Mike Gieser says:

      How you say in ESPANOL?? Better make sure the Lootinos understand it’s frowned upon.

  2. ir’s really annoying when news sites pop up a video window and you can’t get rid of it #BadDesign

  3. Jeff Kelly says:

    If America is fortunate, the fire will burn down Berkeley then extinguish itself!

    1. challenger392 says:

      That asinine comment from Da Mayor ensures that the Bros from the east hoods will be heading to these areas. Shoot and shovel.. No reports or witnesses. Remember how the police protected your property during the Rodney King riots.. They retreated and left everyone in the targeted areas on their own..

    2. Bezerkly is around 4-500 miles north on the SF Bay. However I did drive through Redwood Park above Oakland last month, my wife’s old stomping grounds, and the woods are a disaster waiting for a spark. From the road you cannot see into the forest. Many years ago Oakland Hills area caught fire and was difficult to put out. If those woods catch fire the prevailing winds from the Golden Gate Bridge area would push the fire east, but this place looks like it could cause it’s own weather system with fire tornado’s popping up.
      I watched a fire tornado almost catch a Fire Chief friend but the firefighters all escaped unharmed. It was shown on tv and you could probably find it via google, just don’t remember the name of the fire but it happened around 2011 or later.

    3. One could only hope #keepthedreamalive

  4. John Dendy says:

    Looters should be shot on sight.

  5. Mike Gieser says:

    Why do firefighters need night vision to find fires at night?

  6. Tom Ronson says:

    Too bad, one of these wildfires couldn’t roll right through downtown LA. That would get the liberals all fired up; no pun intended.

  7. Looters??? Gov. Moonbeam says Officer Friendly will be sent out to deliver a hard slap to the wrist to ANYONE stealing from the rich!!! That is all.

  8. Los Angeles is a TOWN of looters….who are you kidding? In some places it’s a semi-competitive sport….

  9. Dawn Shears says:

    La Tuna fire = 5,000 acres.
    Chetco Bar Fire 140,000+ acres but you don’t hear much about it in the news.

  10. Jack Inmanz says:

    Warning to looters: If you’re white, we will throw you UNDER

    1. Jack Inmanz says:

      the jail. (the site reloaded itself in the middle of my post.) If you are other than white, you will receive coupons for anything you want with our apologies.

  11. Mike Stein says:

    Garcetti to looters:
    If you’re Mexi- I need your vote-take the good stuff! Gracias!
    If you’re Black- We will shoot to miss don’t worry- Please vote for me! My Ngga!
    If you’re a White tweaker- We will kill you on sight- I don’t want your vote! Cracka!

  12. Jack Foobar says:

    The Police and Fire Department should stand down because Burbank Movie executives are white, and therefore racist. Also fire and oxygen is racist. But let’s me honest, it doesn’t really matter. California isn’t part of America anyway.

  13. Fire warning shots at the looters, direct to the head.

  14. It’s California. Police will be told to stand down so Democrats have room to steal.

  15. Moonbeam has been out cherry picking through your valuables since he took office now he’s been in to your house looking for the rest of it!

  16. Tom Bright says:

    As of this week in Sacramento, capital of the smartest state, hoodlums will be paid not to hoodlize, or whatever you call what they do. Our mayor is avoiding lawsuits by never suggesting our disadvantaged get up early, shower, dress acceptably, show up to work on time, work competently and deal patiently and agreeably with everybody. We have been sued many, many times in the past — and paid the lawyers who sue us. Is this a brilliant bunch of bureaucrats, or what?

  17. Jim Thompson says:

    Wait… isn’t the mayor looting our pockets?

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