Fire burning near Castaic shuts down 5 Freeway, prompts evacuations amid triple-digit heat | Corona, CA

BY CHRISTIAN MARTINEZSTAFF WRITER | AUG. 31, 2022 UPDATED 5:20 PM PT

A wildfire near Castaic prompted mandatory evacuations and the closure of all lanes of the 5 Freeway on Wednesday afternoon as triple-digit temperatures hit Southern California.

The Route fire was first reported just after noon and was burning along the freeway near Lake Hughes Road, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

By 4 p.m., the fire had grown to nearly 250 acres as authorities ordered evacuations for the Paradise Ranch Estates mobile home park and structures south of Templin Highway, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

“All residents ordered to evacuate to the north,” the department said in a tweet.

Northlake Hills Elementary School, located between the 5 and Ridge Route Road, was also being evacuated, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.

Sheriff’s deputies were reportedly helping 10 staff members and students off the campus, Barger said in a tweet around 4:45 p.m.

Two firefighters were transported to a hospital with minor heat-related injuries, the Fire Department said.

Temperatures in the area reached nearly 110 degrees by midday with 12% humidity, according to the National Weather Service.

All lanes of the freeway were closed with southbound traffic being diverted at Vista Del Lago Road and northbound traffic being diverted at Lake Hughes Road, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Footage from KTLA-TV Channel 5 showed flames on both sides of the southbound lanes with smoke rising from rolling, dry hills. The southbound and northbound lanes are separated by a large hill.

A large tanker could be seen dropping fire retardant along the fire line.

For more information about fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

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