Rye Fire in Santa Clarita burns 5000 acres, only 5 percent contained

An example of a firefighter backlit by an inferno

It was first reported about 5 acres but quickly grew to 200 acres and the response was upgraded, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

No structures were immediately threatened by the so-called Rye Fire, and no injuries were reported. Officials temporarily closed the 5 freeway.

About 250 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire, which was burning in light to medium fuels amid gusting Santa Ana winds.

Gusty winds kept firefighting aircraft grounded and may have also been the cause of a power outage that interrupted service to about 2,090 customers in the Santa Clarita area.

Students at Rancho Pico Junior High School, West Ranch High School and Oak Hills Elementary School in the Westridge area were bused to College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita city officials said. Calls are being rerouted. About 500 firefighters responded to the burn area, which was initially north of Newhall Ranch Road and west of the 5 Freeway. Authorities also evacuated the Valencia Travel Village RV park in the 27900 block of Henry Mayo Drive in Castaic.

According to the sheriff's department, evacuations were ordered late this morning along Rye Canyon Loop and Kelly Johnson Parkway. Valencia High School and Santa Clarita Activities Center are being used at as evacuation center.

The Creek Fire in Sylmar and Thomas Fire in Ventura County have also been blazing out of control for much of Tuesday, prompting California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Thousands of acres have been scorched and thousands of homes have been evacuated.

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