SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Some residents affected by a wildfire burning in the Santa Clarita area will be allowed to return home Monday evening as firefighters continue to battle the blaze that has scorched more than 35,000 acres, or about 55 square miles in the Angeles National Forest.
Most evacuations will be lifted at 7 p.m., except for homes on Placerita Canyon Road from Running Horse Lane to Pacy Street and Little Tujunga Canyon Road from the Wildlife Way Station to Sand Canyon Road and Placerita Canyon Road, KTLA reported.
The areas will only be open to residents, who will need to provide identification, officials said. Large animals will also be allowed to return.
The Sand Fire has destroyed 18 homes and left one person dead since it first broke out Friday afternoon near Highway 14 and Sand Canyon Road.
The blaze flared up in deep canyon areas Monday and burned in thick brush, Battalion Chief Marc Peebles, spokesman for the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team, said during an evening news conference.
Winds picked up during the day, but later died down, causing an increase in acreage, which was announced about 6:30 p.m.
He asked residents affected by the fire to be patient as firefighters hope to increase containment overnight.
Nearly 3,000 firefighters were battling the blaze, which jumped Placerita Canyon and moved north toward the Via Princessa area Sunday evening.
Winds suddenly picked up Sunday and pushed the fire in three directions — north toward Agua Dulce, east toward Acton and west toward Santa Clarita — according to Los Angeles County fire Deputy Chief John Tripp.
At a Monday morning news conference, Tripp said he believed firefighters had saved at least 2,000 homes in the path of the fire.