Golfers at Angeles National Golf Course play while the La Tuna fire burns nearby in the Verdugo Hills above Sunland-Tujunga, 2 September 2017. Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

By Ruben Vives, Andrea Castillo, and Alene Tchekmedyian
2 September 2017

(The Los Angeles Times) – A brush fire in the Verdugo Mountains north of downtown Los Angeles has burned more than 5,000 acres, making it one of the largest fires in the city’s history and one that officials warn could grow larger if erratic weather conditions continue.

Hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze overnight and into the morning, and at `one point, the flames were spreading in four directions amid intense heat and wild winds. Three homes have burned, but no injuries have been reported, officials said Saturday.

Firefighters faced another day of triple-digit temperatures in some inland areas of Southern California as a heat wave that has gripped the state continues. By Saturday afternoon, winds were blowing up to 17 mph in the area of the La Tuna fire, with humidity at 27%, which was almost 10 percentage points higher than the same time Friday.

Burbank recorded a high of 100 about 2 p.m. while the thermometer hit 95 in the Little Tujunga area, according the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said firefighters late Saturday afternoon were dealing with “very erratic weather and wind.”

“The wind can change directions — it can go 180 degrees at 20 miles per hour within a few minutes,” Terrazas said. “We are very conscious of that. We are putting our people in places to protect structures where needed.” […]

A helicopter drops water as the La Tuna fire approaches homes on Oro Vista in Sunland, 2 September 2017. Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

“There is a lot of unburned fuel” in this area, Terrazas warned, noting that the last fire in the area was at least 30 years ago.

Both Terrazas and Garcetti said the La Tuna fire was the largest in the city’s history in terms of acreage.

“We can’t recall anything larger,” Terrazas said. [more]

Three homes burned as wildfire torches more than 5,000 acres

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