Firefighters Battling 'Hurricane-Force' Winds in Creek Fire

Los Angeles Fire

The fire, which has scorched 12,605 acres, broke out at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads in the Kagel Canyon area.

The fire has spread across 12,605 acres, or almost 20 square miles, since breaking out early Tuesday morning in the area of Kagel Canyon Road, north of Lake View Terrace.

The Creek Fire ripping through Sylmar has prompted approximately 2,500 evacuations along a wide swath that's mostly north of the 210 freeway in the San Fernando Valley.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday evacuation orders were affecting about 150,000 residents, but a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman put the number at around 120,000.

In addition to the Creek Fire, an even more devastating fire raged in Ventura County.

The fire began at around 4:00 a.m. local time, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Deputy David Richardson said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

2 students dead after high school shooting in New Mexico
He said the shooting suspect also had died but did not clarify if the suspect was included in the number of deceased. The shooting happened at Aztec High, a school with about 1,000 students near the Colorado border.

Some 400 firefighters and more than 50 fire engines were deployed to the scene of the fire. The Santa Ana winds in California this week were described as the season's "strongest and longest", spreading fires rapidly and making firefighting conditions even more hard.

The 210 interchange with the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway was also closed.

More than 20 square miles of residential property were reported as being evacuated.

As the fire expanded and jumped south of the Foothill Freeway on Tuesday, so did the mandatory evacuation area. A map of now evacuated areas and shelters can be found here.

Evacuation centers are open at the Sylmar Recreation Center, located at 13109 Borden Avenue. And an area south of the Foothill Freeway was ordered evacuated in Shadow Hills between Sunland Boulevard to the south, Wentworth Street to the north and Tuxford Street to the west, officials said. An evacuation center had been opened at the Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick St., but that center was closed as the fire expanded toward that area.

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