5,000-acre Rye Fire burns in Santa Clarita

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A 5,000-acre brush fire in Santa Clarita prompted authorities to issue an advisory to residents of nearby Simi Valley Tuesday evening.

The Rye Fire continued to rage out of control in the Santa Clarita area on Dec. 5, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The fire could reach the Simi Valley area due to heavy winds, the Simi Valley Police Department said in a statement.

“Residents on the northern side of the City should be aware of this possibility and be prepared to evacuate if necessary,” the statement said.

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, evacuations have not been mandated, according to the police department.

Schools in the Simi Valley Unified School District will be closed Wednesday, authorities said.

The 5 Freeway was closed at the 126 Freeway as a safety precaution, but was reopened about 2 p.m.

The Rye Fire started at about 9:55 a.m. in the 25100 block of Rye Canyon Road, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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.

The fire was at 1,000 acres about 1:15 p.m., but had exploded to 5,000 acres just two hours later. It is 5 percent contained.

Medium to light brush was burning and no structures have been threatened. Intense winds appeared to cause the fire to jump and was burning near a power plant in the area, a concern for firefighters battling the flames.

Five schools in the area were without power but have not been evacuated, according to the Santa Clarita city officials. Students at West Ranch High School, Rancho Pico Junior High and Oak Hills Elementary are being bussed to College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, according to the city. Parents will be able to meet with their children there, officials said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that the 9-1-1 system is down at the Santa Clarita station because of a power outage. Calls are being rerouted.

The Rye Fire burns in the Santa Clarita area on Dec. 5, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The Rye Canyon Loop, West Ranch and Travel Village areas have been evacuated. Valencia High School, Santa Clarita Activities Center and the College of the Canyons are being used at as evacuation centers.

Newhall Ranch Road is also closed between the 126 and Rye Canyon Road, the city reported.

Rye Canyon Loop to Kelly Johnson Parkway is also closed.

The Rye Fire burns as the Creek Fire in Sylmar and Thomas Fire in Ventura County are wreaking havoc. Thousands of acres have been scorched and thousands of homes have been evacuated.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Scott Miller told KTLA that resources are a bit stretched for the Rye Fire, but officials were expecting more to come in. He added that the firefighters have a “really good” perimeter surrounding the fire and they hope to have a good handle on it.

Firefighters were able to put out portions of the blaze that got close to nearby Six Flags Magic Mountain and a power plant, officials said. Meanwhile, some of the residents at a mobile home park close by drove out to escape the flames.