Saddleridge fire: One dead in blaze raging round Los Angeles

At least 25 homes, many in the Porter Ranch area, have been damaged, Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said.

Thousands of acres have already been burned.

While we don't have to worry about an actual fire, unsafe weather conditions associated with the Saddleridge fire may have an impact on West Hollywood. One person died of cardiac arrest.

Thousands of acres of Southern California are now burning as crews work to contain the Saddleridge Fire, Sandalwood Fire, Wendy Fire, Caples Fire, and other simultaneous blazes across the region.

Lois Arvickson called her son from her cellphone to say she was evacuating shortly after the blaze was reported in the Calimesa area, Turner said while with family members at an evacuation center.

The risk to life and property prompted Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut power to about 730,000 customers, a move that California Gov. Gavin Newsom blamed on years of mismanagement by the utility.

"Nobody's going home right away".

PG&E, though, suggested it was already seeing the wisdom of its decision borne out as gusts topping 77 miles per hour raked the San Francisco Bay Area amid a bout of dry, windy weather. The Los Angeles Fire Department web site has details about evacuations, however, at times the site has been non-responsive.

Authorities have opened shelters for residents forced to abandon their homes. At least 10 schools are closed today as a result of the fire and California State University Northridge, which has about 30,000 undergraduate students, announced that its campus would be closed Friday due to the fire.

The blaze, which officials have named the Saddleridge Fire, ignited late Thursday in the city of Sylmar. It remains unclear how it started.

The fire is about 823 acres (333 hectares) and 10% contained. Many parts of the region are under red-flag warnings - meaning high fire risk - into Friday afternoon.

A quick-moving wildfire is churning through the foothills of Southern California, forcing local authorities to issue mandatory evacuations for some 100,000 people in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.

For days, California utility companies have been preemptively cutting off power out of fear that high wind gusts could blow power lines into trees, sparking unsafe fires.

PG&E has now begun restoring power, though more than 300,000 customers remained in the dark as of Thursday night.

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