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Terrifying footage shows drivers rushing to escape huge wildfires burning in California

Terrifying aerial footage showed crews battling a California wildfire fueled by winds as home burned and 100,000 people were forced to evacuate. 

The fire, known as the Saddleridge Brush Fire, broke out after 9pm on Thursday in Sylmar, north of Los Angeles, along the 210 Freeway near Yarnell Street and jumped the highway. 

Multiple freeways, including Interstate 5, Interstate 210, and Interstate 405 northbound were shut down, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

Fire officials said the Saddleridge fire consumed more than 4,600 acres by 3am on Friday with zero contaminant.

Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods. 

According to Los Angeles Fire Department Spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, an ‘unknown number’ of homes are in the fire’s path. 

 

Terrifying aerial footage showed crews battling a California wildfire fueled by winds as home burned and 100,000 people were forced to evacuate

Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods

Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods

A firefighter battles the Saddleridge fire after it began in Sylmar, California, after 9pm on Thursday, October 10

A firefighter battles the Saddleridge fire after it began in Sylmar, California, after 9pm on Thursday, October 10

Multiple freeways, including Interstate 5, Interstate 210, and Interstate 405 northbound were shut down, according to the California Highway Patrol. Pictured: A firefighter waits for water as the Saddleridge fire flares up near homes in Sylmar

Multiple freeways, including Interstate 5, Interstate 210, and Interstate 405 northbound were shut down, according to the California Highway Patrol. Pictured: A firefighter waits for water as the Saddleridge fire flares up near homes in Sylmar

Fire officials said the Saddleridge fire consumed more than 4,600 acres by 3am on Friday with zero contaminant. Pictured:

Fire officials said the Saddleridge fire consumed more than 4,600 acres by 3am on Friday with zero contaminant. Pictured: 

Drivers shared terrifying footage of the Saddleridge Fire as they raced to escape flames raging on either side of the freeway before it was shut down.

Emergency service are seen at intervals along the highway in the dramatic footage, as the fire burns orange into the night’s sky.  

In one of the videos the driving conditions become so bad due to the smoke that cars begin to pull over on the side of the road.     

In separate videos, part of the footage shows huge flames rising up into the sky from a building as helicopters circle above the area. 

Land further behind in the background is also on fire, with large areas of grass burning into the night’s sky.  

Meanwhile, the nearby Sandlewood fire continued to rage on. 

According to Riverside County officials, the fire started when trash being hauled caught fire and the driver dumped the load alongside the road to prevent the truck from being set ablaze.

Dry grass quickly ignited and winds gusting to 50mph blew the fire into the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park, about 75 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

No injuries have been reported as of Friday morning, but several homes were seen burning in Granada Hills.  

‘We need people to leave now while they can,’ fire officials said during a press conference Friday morning, according to FOX 11. ‘If you stay in [mandatory evacuation] areas we cannot guarantee that we will save you.’   

The fire broke out along the 210 Freeway near Yarnell Street and jumped the highway. Pictured: Embers from the Saddleridge fire blow by firefighters in Sylmar on Thursday

The fire broke out along the 210 Freeway near Yarnell Street and jumped the highway. Pictured: Embers from the Saddleridge fire blow by firefighters in Sylmar on Thursday

The Sandalwood fire was only 10 percent contained as of Friday morning, the Riverside County Fire Department said. 

Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs on Friday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.

Southern California Edison turned off electricity to about 20,000 people in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Kern counties, but warned that thousands more could lose service as Santa Ana winds gained strength.

Winds gusted dangerously as forecast before calming in Northern California, where Pacific Gas & Electric faced hostility and second-guessing over its widespread shutoffs.     

Governor Gavin Newsom criticized PG&E and ordinary customers complained about the inconveniences caused by the unprecedented blackouts that began midweek. 

PG&E, though, suggested it was already seeing the wisdom of its decision borne out as gusts topping 77 mph raked the San Francisco Bay Area amid a bout of dry, windy weather. 

The shocking videos show residents driving along as the massive wildfire spreads on both sides of them in Saddleridge, Sylmar near Los Angeles

The shocking videos show residents driving along as the massive wildfire spreads on both sides of them in Saddleridge, Sylmar near Los Angeles

Emergency service are seen at intervals along the highway in the dramatic footage, as the fire burns orange into the night's sky

Emergency service are seen at intervals along the highway in the dramatic footage, as the fire burns orange into the night’s sky

In one of the videos the driving conditions become so bad due to the smoke that cars begin to pull over on the side of the road (pictured)

In one of the videos the driving conditions become so bad due to the smoke that cars begin to pull over on the side of the road (pictured)

The fire, which started in Sylmar late last night, is moving rapidly to the west toward Granada Hills and Porter Ranch

The fire, which started in Sylmar late last night, is moving rapidly to the west toward Granada Hills and Porter Ranch

In separate videos, part of the footage shows huge flames rising up into the sky from a building (pictured) as helicopters circle above the area

In separate videos, part of the footage shows huge flames rising up into the sky from a building (pictured) as helicopters circle above the area

‘We have found multiple cases of damage or hazards’ caused by heavy winds, including fallen branches that came in contact with overhead lines, said Sumeet Singh, a vice president for the utility company. ‘If they were energized, they could’ve ignited.’ 

Because of the dangerous weather in the forecast, PG&E cut power Wednesday to an estimated two million people in an area. 

Amid the chaos, a man says his 89-year-old mother has been missing since Thursday night after the wind-driven wildfire swept through a Southern California mobile home park, destroying dozens of residences.

Lois Arvickson called her son, Don Turner, from her cellphone to say she was evacuating shortly after the blaze was reported in the Calimesa area.

‘She said she’s getting her purse and she’s getting out, and the line went dead,’ he said.

Arvickson’s neighbors saw in her garage as flames approached, according to Turner. A short time later the neighbors saw the garage on fire, but they don’t know if she’d managed to escape, he said.

Riverside County fire officials said they’re still trying to determine if anybody is unaccounted for after 74 structures were decimated.

Previously authorities said they responded to ‘numerous’ medical emergencies at the park. Several residents were transported to hospitals but there were no details on their conditions, county fire Capt Fernando Herrera said.  

Turner said he’s been checking hospitals. 

The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive ever recorded in California, with about 100 residents and firefighters killed.

More than 8,500 fires erupted, scorching more than 1.8 million acres and causing billions of dollars of damage.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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