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UPDATE: Blaze blackens 3,000 acres in 5 hours

Local deputies stand by for Frazier Park fire evacuations

Posted: May 15, 2013 3:02 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2013 7:27 p.m.

A wall of flames more than 100 feet tall consumed wildland in the Frazier Park fire. Photo by Rick McClure/For The Signal

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More than a dozen law enforcement units from three sheriff’s stations, including the Santa Clarita Valley’s, were sent to the Frazier Park fire late Wednesday afternoon to evacuate the area near the Los Angeles-Kern County line as a massive brush fire moved south toward Los Angeles County, a local sheriff’s spokesman said.

The fire, which started at 1:30 p.m., had blackened 3,000 acres by 6:45 p.m., Kern County fire officials said. It was 10 percent contained at that time.

The fire had forced evacuation of a high school in Frazier Park and an off-road vehicle park north of Pyramid Lake.

“We’re suited up and we’re ready,” Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Lt. John Rush said around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“We have six units up there right now since the fire is a half mile from the trigger point,” which is the county line, he said.

“Because of the distance we have to travel to get there, we’re there now ready for a shift in the wind,” he said.
“We’re there to conduct the evacuation if needed.”

In all, 14 sheriff’s units — including the six local ones — awee on the edge of the fire, having traveled from Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster, Rush said.

The wind blew the smoke from the fire into the Antelope Valley during the late afternoon, but by evening it began to shift some of the smoke into the Santa Clarita Valley.

Five air tankers and four helicopters were making drops on the blaze, which spread rapidly despite relatively mild winds.

“The Frazier Mountain High School was evacuated,” said Scott Miller of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Also under evacuation orders was Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area and the Cottonwood Campground.

“This is Kern County’s fire and they have requested one of our strike teams to be posted at the school,” Miller said.

Interstate 5 remained opened and unaffected by the fire at 6:30 p.m., a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said.

Forest Service spokesman Corey Wilford said the blaze was burning in thick brush, seasonal grasses and sage.

Firefighters from Kern, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service were battling the blaze. Kern County officials said 600 firefighters were on the line at 6:45 p.m.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt





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