SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Fire crews are battling a brush fire near the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita that has scorched at least 1,500 acres, officials said.
The Soledad Fire threatened nearly 5,000 structures and as of 7 a.m.
As of Tuesday, it is 87% contained. All evacuation orders were lifted by 2 p.m. Monday.
Roughly 40 residents from nine homes were forced to evacuate.
No injuries were reported and no homes were damaged, authorities said.
The wind-driven fire was first reported at 3:28 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and the 14 Freeway. Warm weather and gusty winds swiftly drove the fire to approximately 1,100 acres by Sunday evening.
Fire officials said Monday that there is still potential fire growth as temperatures are expected to warm throughout the day where fuel and topography align. As they continue mapping the fire the acreage amount is expected to grow.
After it ignited Sunday afternoon, the Soledad Fire sent huge plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen along the 14 Freeway. The brush fire jumped the 14 Freeway earlier in the day and burned near Soledad Canyon and Agua Dulce Canyon roads, fire officials said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy David Richardson noted that illegal fireworks could be seen in the area as firefighters worked Sunday evening.
Red Cross LA has set up a temporary evacuation site at Victory Outreach parking lot located at 37419 25th St East, Palmdale.
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, all residents were required to remain in their vehicles. Residents can bring small pets. Large animals will be handled by LA County Animal Control in Castaic.
Mandatory evacuations were taking place Sunday between Agua Dulce Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road, north and east of the 14 Freeway, officials said.
Residents in that evacuation area were allowed to return home beginning at 2 p.m. Monday. Officials said that only residents will be allowed back into the area and asked that they show identification when returning home. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was monitoring the area and assist with repopulation efforts.
Evacuations were also underway for residents who live between Escondido Canyon Road and Crown Valley Road. Sheriff's officials instructed residents who live near the 14 Freeway in the area to "be prepared to evacuate."
Initially, the northbound 14 was closed at Agua Dulce Canyon and southbound lanes were shut down at Soledad Canyon Road, the California Highway Patrol reported. The southbound lanes were reopened at 11:55 p.m. Sunday and northbound lanes 1 and 2 were reopened.
Lanes 3 and 4 as well as the Soledad Canyon Road on-ramp and the Agua Dulce off-ramp remained closed.
All lanes of the northbound 14 Freeway reopened by 4:30 p.m. Monday.
Officers advised drivers in the San Fernando and Antelope Valley areas to use the 5 and 138 Freeways as alternate routes.
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, smoke from the Soledad Fire burning in the region has caused unhealthy air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley and San Gabriel Mountains.
“It is difficult to tell where smoke, ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of these particles in the air, so we ask everyone to remember that smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even for people who are healthy," said Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis. “If you can see smoke, soot, or ash, or you can smell smoke, pay attention to your immediate environment and take precautions to safeguard your health. These precautions are particularly important for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases.”
These precautions include avoiding unnecessary outdoor exposure and limiting physical exertion, such as exercise.
Children and people who have air quality sensitive conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot, or ash cannot be seen, or there is no smell of smoke.
If your condition worsens, contact your health care provider immediately for medical advice or call 911.
More than 35 fire engines, 9 hand crews, six water-dropping helicopters and a fixed-winged aircraft were sent by the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles County fire to assist in combating the blaze.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
FOX 11's Hailey Winslow and Mary Stringini contributed to this report.