SYLMAR (CBSLA) — A local assistance center will open in Sylmar Thursday to help residents affected by the Saddle Ridge Fire.

The new center will open at 9:30 a.m. at the Sylmar Recreation Center on Borden Avenue. Residents can come to the center to get help with replacing lost records, filing insurance claims, applying for disaster assistance, and get information on property cleanup, repair and rebuilding.

Eyad Jarjour (L) views his neighbor’s burned residence after flames from the Saddleridge Fire tore through the region in Granada Hills, Calif., on Oct. 11, 2019. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Saddle Ridge Fire has burned 8,391 acres and is now 56 percent contained. One civilian died of a heart attack during the firefight, which also left eight firefighters with non-life-threatening injuries. It has destroyed 19 structures and damaged 88 others.

The fire got whipped up Friday night by strong winds and extremely dry conditions after apparently igniting under some high voltage transmission lines, but the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Since then, calmer winds and cooler conditions have allowed firefighters to make steady progress on battling the blaze. But that progress could be lost due to the forecast return of winds of between 20 and 35 mph and a chance for red flag conditions this weekend.

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