More than 5,000 acres burn in La Tuna brush fire

LOS ANGELES — More than 5,000 acres have burned in the intense La Tuna brush fire near Burbank, forcing people from their homes, shutting down an interstate and sending massive plumes of smoke in the air, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The fire has destroyed at least two homes, KTLA reported.

Mandatory and voluntary evacuations were taking place, Capt. Branden Silverman said Saturday, but there were no reports of injuries. He suggested that everyone have a plan to evacuate if the need arises.

The fast-spreading blaze broke out Friday and tore through the La Tuna Canyon Park area of the Verdugo Mountains, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a press conference Saturday that 300 homes in Burbank and 180 homes in Los Angeles were under evacuation orders.

More than 500 firefighters were working the Burbank blaze on Saturday, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said at the press conference.

At least 100 firefighters who were sent to Houston to help in Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts were heading back to California to help with the fire, he said.

According to Terrazas, it is the largest fire, by acreage, that the Los Angeles city area has ever seen.

One home has been lost to the fire, he said.

Hot temperatures and high winds on Friday in the Los Angeles area contributed to the “large plume growth and extreme fire behavior,” the National Weather Service office in Los Angeles said.

Police shut down all traffic on the 210 Freeway as the fire moved across the highway, officials said. It remained closed Friday night.

Firefighters working to control the fire and those living in much of southwest California will see “near record breaking heat” on Saturday.

“These weather factors will result in the potential for rapid fire spread in the warned area through at least Saturday evening,” the weather service said.