SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The Martindale Fire in Bouquet Canyon had burned 230 acres and was 40% contained Tuesday afternoon. Investigators are still looking into how the fire started on Monday.
Evacuation orders were issued for 10-12 homes in the Castaic Canyons area near Santa Clarita.
Resident David Hines called it into 911.
“All I can say is it was like anger and it was just boiling black clouds,” says Hines. “By the time I finished talking to them, flames were visible and they were coming down the side of the mountain.”
Hines has lived in Bouquet Falls for three decades, one of about 90 cabins in the canyon. The cabins are privately-owned, but the Forest Service leases the land.
Fire crews evacuated families in a dozen cabins tucked away in the canyon. A total of 200 firefighters are tackling the Martindale Fire. The crews are from the Angeles National Forest, LA County, San Bernardino County, Central California Hotshots and even Tennessee Hotshots, who drove in to help.
“We’re looking at fatigue for a lot of these firefighters,” says Angeles National Forest Battalion Chief Seneca Smith.
“Many of these firefighters have been to several fires before this and work those long shifts, multiple days in a row, with very few days off because we just don’t have enough fire resources for all these fires.”Fortunately, with borrowed resources from the Bobcat Fire on Monday, fire crews have been able to get a quick handle on the Martindale Fire.
They expect full containment in the next day or two.
Hines says he’s thinking about moving because fire season only continues to get worse.
“After 30 years of this and getting older, I would like to retire from this kind of activity,” he says with a chuckle.
The blaze broke out at 3 p.m. in the 34700 block of Bouquet Canyon Road, about two miles southwest of the Bouquet Reservoir, and fire crews arrived at 3:09 p.m., according to Franklin Lopez of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Evacuation orders have been issued for residents who live from Bouquet Reservoir Dam, south to mile marker 11.5, and evacuation warnings have been issued for residents who live from mile marker 11.5 to Texas Canyon Ranger Station, located at 30800 Bouquet Canyon Road, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which is battling the fire with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
According to authorities, the current road closures for the Martindale Fire includes Bouquet Canyon Rd. from Vasquez Canyon north to the reservoir.
For those who were evacuated as a result of the Martindale Fire in Santa Clarita and need Red Cross assistance, please call 800-675-5799.
About 10-12 structures were threatened by 3:25 p.m. as the blaze burned southeast, the fire department reported.
The Angeles National Forest tweeted at 3:36 p.m. that it was responding to a "reported 200+ acre fire, NE of Santa Clarita, moving South with rapid rate of spread in medium brush. Gusty winds. ANF has a 2nd Alarm activated, with air tankers and additional resources on the way."
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