Mandatory evacuations ordered for SoCal burn areas as rain continues

Voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders remained in effect for portions of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties Thursday amid fears of mud slides and torrents of debris down fire-denuded slopes as a result of the biggest storm to strike the Southland this rainy season.

Officials Wednesday had advised people who reside in the areas affected by the La Tuna Canyon, Creek and Skirball fires to prepare for evacuations and street closures, but late in the afternoon, evacuation orders that had been scheduled to take effect at 6 p.m. in the Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon areas were canceled due to an updated forecast.

Mandatory evacuations did go into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday for La Tuna Canyon Road from the 8300 to the 9000 blocks and the road was closed from the 8300 block to the Foothill (210) Freeway, authorities said.

Voluntary evacuations went into effect for the stretch of La Tuna Canyon Road from the 9000 block to Sunland Boulevard and in an area bordered by Day Street to the north, Plainview Avenue to the east and Sherman Grove Avenue to the west.

All areas are being closely monitored by officials, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said at late morning news conference Wednesday.

The storm -- a Pacific weather system greatly beefed up by a subtropical atmospheric river -- was forecast to produce 1 to 3 inches of rain in Los Angeles County coastal and valley areas and between 2 and 5 inches in the mountains.

Duarte went into a "yellow alert'' status at noon Wednesday for areas below the 2016 Fish Fire burn area. The alert calls for residents to move vehicles, trash bins and other large items out of streets to keep them clear for emergency crews and prevent items from being washed away.

The city also planned to close Mel Canyon Road to through-traffic below the burn area beginning at 6 p.m. but the closure was postponed until today, according to the watch commander at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Temple Station.

Duarte officials were distributing filled sandbags to residents at the corner of Brookridge Road and Opal Canyon Wednesday.

An evacuation shelter was open at the Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave. and the Sun Valley Recreation Center, 8133 Vineland Avenue.

A shelter at the Westwood Recreation Center at 1350 Sepulveda Blvd. was available for residents who choose to evacuate from the Skirball Fire burn area.

Large animals may be taken to a temporary animal shelter at the Equestrian Park at the Hansen Dam, 11127 Orcas Ave Lake View Terrace. The number is (818) 896-6514.

Dogs, cats and small pets can be taken to the Sylmar Recreation Center at 13109 Borden Ave. in Sylmar or the Los Angeles County Animal Care Center at 31044 Charlie Canyon Road in Castaic.

Residents can call a Joint Information Center at (323) 957-4594 for around the clock updated information on evacuations.

The city of Burbank, meanwhile, postponed until 6 a.m. today a voluntary evacuation order that was to take effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday Once in effect, the order was expected to last through 6 p.m. today for the following streets in danger of flooding and mud flows due to the recent La Tuna Fire:

-- Country Club Drive east of Via Montana;
-- all of Hamline Place; and
-- Groton Drive east of Kenneth.

An evacuation center was established at Verdugo Recreation Center at 3201 W. Verdugo Ave. The center will not accommodate animals.

No-parking restrictions were in effect on:
-- Country Club Drive east of Via Montana;
-- all of Hamline Place; and
-- Groton Drive east of Kenneth.

All of Burbank's hiking trails have been closed, along with the Stough Canyon Nature Center and Wildwood Canyon recreation area, until further notice.

Click here for a map of areas in SANTA BARBARA COUNTY currently under "Recommended Evacuation Warning or Mandatory Evacuation Order."

Click here to view an interactive map of areas under evacuation order in VENTURA COUNTY.

Read more about the SoCal weather forecast here.

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