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July comes in like a lion as fire season starts early

Three fires burn in Sand Canyon, Newhall

Posted: July 2, 2008 1:12 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Handcrews work to cut a fireline along a hillside as the Los Angeles County's Firehawk drops a payload of water along a hot spot in Sand Canyon on Tuesday. Firefighters contained the fire, which threatened several homes, to 3 acres.

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Firefighters rushed to battle two simultaneous fires Tuesday morning, including one that burned uphill through thick brush toward several ranch-style homes in Sand Canyon.

The first blaze broke out around 11:45 a.m. near the intersection of Sand Canyon Road and Sultus Street and burned nearly four acres, a county Fire Department official said.

The cause of the fire was reportedly a malfunctioning chain saw.

Evacuations were not ordered, as fire personnel said there was enough clearance between homes and the blaze for the roughly 150 firefighters who responded to contain it. The hillside had medium to heavy brush.

However, the so-called Sultus Incident threatened four homes before it was knocked down, burning within about 200 feet from each respective property line.

Officials closed Sultus Street near Sand Canyon Road to all traffic as fire crews continued clean-up into the afternoon.

Around noon, a vehicle fire broke out a few miles away on northbound Highway 14 at Escondido Canyon Road, a Fire Department official said. The big-rig was reportedly on the right shoulder when its right tire caught on fire and apparently spread to nearby brush, causing lanes to be temporarily closed for a Sig alert at 12:30 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. The truck’s trailer  reportedly burned completely.

No injuries were reported in either blaze. No structures were damaged.

Nearly 150 fire personnel reported to the Sultus Incident, while approximately 20 personnel worked on the vehicle fire on Highway 14.

A third fire chewed through one acre of brush in Newhall where county fire crews doused a blaze on Kirsch Court near Deputy Jake Drive in Placerita Canyon.

The Fire Department responded just after 1 p.m. and knocked down the blaze within two hours, said Inspector Frank Garrido.

The cause of the fire was not known, he said.

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