Creek Fire

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Creek Fire
2017 12 05-15.12.57.561-CST.jpg
Image of smoke coming from the Creek Fire on December 5, as the fire approached Interstate 210.
Location Kagel Canyon, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Coordinates 34°18′46″N 118°21′31″W / 34.31283°N 118.35863°W / 34.31283; -118.35863Coordinates: 34°18′46″N 118°21′31″W / 34.31283°N 118.35863°W / 34.31283; -118.35863
Statistics[1][2]
Date(s) December 5, 2017 (2017-12-05) – January 9, 2018 (2018-01-09)
3:44 AM–10:00 AM (PST)
Burned area 15,619 acres (63 km2)
Cause Under investigation
Buildings
destroyed
123 destroyed
81 damaged
Fatalities None
Non-fatal injuries 3 firefighters[1][3]
Map of the Creek Fire and adjacent fires
Location of the Creek Fire

The Creek Fire was a large wildfire that burned in Kagel Canyon and the Angeles National Forest north of Sylmar, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, United States, and one of multiple wildfires that broke out across Southern California in December 2017. The Creek Fire has burned 15,619 acres (63 km2) and destroyed 123 structures, including 60 homes, before being contained on January 9, 2018, following heavy rainfall from a winter storm.[4] The fire threatened the communities of Santa Clarita, Glendale, Olive View, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Sylmar, Pacoima, Lopez Canyon, and Kagel Canyon, as well as the Olive View–UCLA Medical Center. During the wildfire, 115,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes.[3]

Events[edit]

The Creek Fire was reported on December 5, 2017, at 3:44 AM PST, on Kagel Canyon Road, north of Los Angeles.[1][5] By the afternoon, the fire had jumped Interstate 210 and moved into the Shadow Hills neighborhood, traveling an estimated 15 miles from its starting point in Kagel Canyon and threatening ranches in the area. By the end of the day, a barn in Rancho Padilla burned, killing 30 horses that were trapped inside.[6] The city government of Los Angeles and state governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, due to the Creek Fire and other fires in the area.[7]

By December 6, the Creek Fire had destroyed 15 structures, including 5 homes, and damaged 15 structures, including 8 homes. Mandatory evacuations were put in place for areas north and south of State Route 210 and portions of Kagel Canyon, Lakeview Terrace, Sunland, Sylmar, Pacoima, Lopez Canyon, and Shadow Hills.[1] 115,000 residents were forced to evacuate.[3] Three firefighters were injured.[1][8] One was injured by a propane tank explosion, and another one was injured when a bulldozer rolled over.[8][9]

The rugged, steep terrain where the fire was burning, as well as the heavy Santa Ana winds, caused the fire to grow quickly, and also challenged firefighters.[1] On the evening of December 7, all evacuation orders were lifted except for Limekiln Canyon.[10] The fire had grown to 15,323 acres (62.01 km2) by December 8, as Santa Ana winds continued to pick up across the San Gabriel Mountains, continuing to impact the control of the fire. The Angeles National Forest declared its fire danger level at "extreme" and put in place fire restrictions, including no open flames, no campfires, no BBQs, or grilling.[1] The area of Limekiln Canyon, including Santiago Estates, remained evacuated and closed to the public. Schools remained closed in the area.[11] Later on December 8, the Creek Fire increased in size to 15,619 acres (63.21 km2), while containment of the fire also increased to 70%.[12]

By December 9, 123 buildings had been destroyed, including 60 homes.[13] Evacuations orders were ended and the American Red Cross began providing equipment to people returning to their destroyed homes. Fire crews continue to monitor the area.[13][14] Smoke advisories were declared in the San Fernando Valley and the coastal areas of the county due to the Creek Fire and Skirball Fire.[15] CAL FIRE transferred management responsibilities to the Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County Fire Department, and Los Angeles Fire Department on December 11.[16]

On December 23, the fire was at 15,619 acres (63 km2) and was 98% contained. Crews continued to reinforce containment lines while patrolling, as well as extinguishing hot spots, mopping up, and implementing suppression repair.[2] On December 27, the Creek Fire was still at 98% containment.[17]

On January 9, 2018, a winter storm dropped heavy rainfall across the region, extinguishing the Creek Fire and triggering mudslides in areas heavily burned by the December 2017 wildfires. However, by 10:00 AM PST that day, mandatory evacuations for residents near the Creek Fire burn area were lifted, after the worst of the mudslide threat for the area had passed.[4]

Investigation[edit]

Soon after the Creek Fire ignited, authorities began investigation the cause of the wildfire. Locals reported that around the time that the Creek Fire had started, early on December 5, a steel power pylon near Sylmar had snapped and sent sparks flying, which ignited the Creek Fire.[18][19] However, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which owns the power lines in the area, denied that there had been any breaks in the power line, though their logs indicated that the power lines were experiencing trouble at around 4:40 AM PST.[19][20]

Containment progress[edit]

Fire containment status[2]
Date Acres burned Containment
Dec 5 2,500[21]
0%
Dec 6 12,605[22]
5%
Dec 7 15,323[23]
20%
Dec 8 15,619[24]
70%
Dec 9 15,619[25]
80%
Dec 10 15,619[26]
95%
Dec 11–31 15,619[27][17]
98%
--- --- ---
Jan 9 15,619[4]
100%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Creek Fire". CAL FIRE. State of California. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Creek Fire". InciWeb. US Forest Service. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Creek Fire near Sylmar now 11,000 acres; 30 structures burned". ABC7.com. December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Heather Navarro; Jonathan Gonzales (January 9, 2018). "Evacuations Lifted Near Creek Fire Burn Area Amid Storm". NBC Southern California. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Tchekmedyian, Alene; Mejia, Brittny (January 8, 2018). "First major rainstorm in nearly a year hits Southern California, prompting evacuations in burn areas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Creek Fire Progress Continues; Containment at 90 Percent". NBC Southern California. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  7. ^ Yee, Chris (6 December 2017). "State of emergency declared for Los Angeles County as Creek, Rye fires continue to burn". Daily News. Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b Martin, Erika; Espinosa, Elizabeth; Abovian, Ellina (7 December 2017). "Most Affected by Creek Fire in Sylmar Area Will Be Allowed to Return Home; Blaze 10 Percent Contained". KTLA. Archived from the original on 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  9. ^ Shelby Grad (December 5, 2017). "Creek fire jumps 210 Freeway, spreads into Shadow Hills and Angeles National Forest". Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  10. ^ "Creek Fire Repopulation Update" (PDF). CAL FIRE. State of California. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  11. ^ "More than 400 schools in LA closed because of wildfires". Local. Southern California Public Radio. 8 December 2017. Archived from the original on 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  12. ^ Phil Helsel (December 9, 2017). "1st death in California wildfires reported, firefighters make progress". NBC News. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Creek Fire Update" (PDF). CAL FIRE. State of California. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  14. ^ Suter, Leanne (10 December 2017). "Creek Fire: Kagel Canyon residents get helping hand after losing homes". ABC7 Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  15. ^ Bravo, Kristina (10 December 2017). "Smoke Advisory Declared in San Fernando Valley, Coastal Areas". KTLA. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Creek Fire evening update 12/11/17". InciWeb. US Forest Service. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  17. ^ a b Wes Woods II (December 27, 2017). "Creek fire above Sylmar remains at 98 percent containment". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  18. ^ Andrea Castillo (December 23, 2017). "Creek fire near Sylmar expected to be fully contained by midnight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Paige St. John; Brittny Mejia (December 16, 2017). "Power pylon seen sparking at start of Creek fire is owned by L.A. Department of Water and Power". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  20. ^ Michael Finnegan; Andrea Castillo (December 24, 2017). "Low winds offer reprieve in fight against Thomas fire". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  21. ^ "Creek Fire Incident Information, December 05, 2017 7:06 am". LACoFD. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017.
  22. ^ "Creek Fire Incident Information, December 06, 2017 6:00 pm". LACoFD. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017.
  23. ^ "Creek Fire Incident Information, December 07, 2017 8:28 pm". CAL FIRE. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017.
  24. ^ "Creek Fire Incident Information, December 08, 2017 7:24 pm". LACoFD. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017.
  25. ^ "Creek Fire Incident Information, December 09, 2017 7:43 am". LACoFD. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017.
  26. ^ "Creek Fire Incident Information, December 10, 2017 7:13 am". CAL FIRE. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017.
  27. ^ "Creek Fire evening update 12/11/17". InciWeb. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.

External links[edit]