Wildfires break out overnight in Los Angeles area

Saddleridge Fire Map Porter Ranch Fire Sylmar Granada Hills

An undetermined number of homes have been destroyed, and mandatory evacuations were called for more than 12,000 homes - often while occupants were sleeping - in and near Los Angeles' Porter Ranch and Granada Hills neighborhoods, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Santa Ana winds of up to 60 miles per hour helped the Saddleridge Fire jump two freeways and grow to more than 1,600 acres with zero containment by 1 a.m. Friday, the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed. Terrazas said emergency officials received the first reports of the fire around 9 p.m. Thursday and that it was located near the 210 freeway at the Yarnell Street exit.

Several other smaller fires, including the Sandalwood Fire in Calimesa, the Reche Fire in Moreno Valley and the Wendy Fire in Newbury Park continued to burn into the early morning hours of Friday as well.

Southern California Edison cut off power to more than 21,000 customers under its Public Safety Power Shutdown in Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.

"There are now evacuations underway being directed by firefighters in the neighborhood affected", fire officials said. Strong winds and dry conditions carried the Saddleridge Fire across the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, resulting in almost 12,000 people having to leave their homes after officials issued mandatory evacuations in the areas depicted above.

Strong Santa Ana winds, coupled with the area's dry chaparral landscape, have helped fuel the fire.

"We need people to leave now while they can", fire officials warned on Friday morning.

The National Weather Service said a wind advisory and a red flag warning are in effect.

A fast-moving wildfire destroyed homes, forced evacuations, and resulted in at least one fatality in the San Fernando Valley overnight. "Still was able to barely get through on the Interstate 5 north".

Winds gusted dangerously as forecast before calming in Northern California, where Pacific Gas & Electric faced hostility and second-guessing over its widespread rolling blackouts.

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has 500 firefighters from 87 companies and an additional 500 firefighters from the region battling the fire.

Residents are under mandatory evacuation orders, and 120 firefighters are assigned to the area. "It started just eating up vegetation as fast as the eye can see", he said.

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