SYLMAR, Calif. -- A brush fire driven by up to 60 mph winds broke out in Sylmar Thursday evening and quickly scorched at least 60 acres, damaged vehicles, potentially threatened homes and prompted mandatory evacuations.
The blaze was reported just after 9 p.m. off the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway, near Yarnell Street and Saddle Ridge Road, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Within about 30 minutes, the fire had burned 15-20 acres of brush and an unknown number of homes were potentially threatened, Stewart said.
"The fire is now at 60-plus acres and growing due to high winds," Stewart said. "Over 280 LAFD firefighters assigned and more resources continue to be added."
Los Angeles County firefighters assisted LAFD crews, she said.
Firefighters were focused on structural defense and protecting lives and property, Stewart said.
"If you live in north of the (Foothill Freeway) in Sylmar, get your valuable together and leave now," Stewart said during an interview with Fox 11.
Mandatory evacuations were in issued for the Oakridge Estates community north of the Foothill Freeway, Stewart said.
Los Angeles City Parks and Recreation worked to establish evacuation centers, she said.
The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power announced at 10:43 p.m. that it had shut off power flow along major transmission lines in vicinity of the fire to assist with firefighting operations.
There have been no outages as the result of shutting off power flows. Power is being rerouted to customers using other paths away from affected area, according to the department.
About 10:50 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department issued a citywide tactical alert in response to the fire.
"(We) are working with LAFD to carry out any necessary evacuations," the LAPD tweeted. "If you live in the area of the 210 freeway and Yarnell (Street) in Sylmar, we urge you to be prepared & follow all public safety instructions."
LAPD Mission Division officers were clearing traffic in Sylmar due to the fire.
"Please steer clear away from the area of westbound Foothill (Boulevard) to Roxford (Street)," Mission Division tweeted. "Avoid the 210 freeway as well. Thank you."
Video showed several trucks on fire at a business in the area. KCAL9 reported the business was Inline Distributing Co., located at 14093 Balboa Blvd.
Check back for updates on this developing story.