Wildfire Near Burbank Destroys Thousands of Acres, Forces Evacuations

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
The La Tuna Canyon fire burns in the hills above Burbank, California, early Sept. 2

The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in Burbank late Friday.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says a wildfire burning through mountains just north of downtown is the largest in city history and declared the blaze a local emergency.

“The La Tuna Canyon Fire is an emergency that requires all available resources to protect our residents and keep our homes and other structures out of harm’s way," Garcettit said. "I have signed a Declaration of Local Emergency that directs relevant departments in the City of Los Angeles to take all necessary steps to protect life and property in the area affected by the fire. This declaration also requests that the Governor declare an emergency  so that state and federal assistance can be provided to the City as quickly as possible.”

The mayor also thanked the Los Angeles Fire Department and all those helping to combat the fire. "We are grateful for the men and women of LAFD, and all our partner agencies, for their heroic efforts to attempt to bring the fire under control and to keep people and their homes safe," Garcetti said.

Only one home has burned and no one has been injured as the blaze grew to nearly 8 square miles and prompted evacuation orders for more than 600 homes in Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale.

Heat that has afflicted the Western United States made conditions tough for crews in Los Angeles and beyond.

The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in Burbank late Friday as a raging brush fire threatened their homes.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the fire, which is being dubbed the La Tuna fire, had grown to 5,000 acres in the Verdugo Mountains by early Saturday.

Residents in the Brace Canyon Park area of Burbank were ordered to leave their homes Friday night. 

An evacuation center has been set up for displaced residents at both the Sunland Recreation Center in Sunland and at McCambridge Park in Burbank.

The brush fire north of Los Angeles also has shut down both sides of key freeway for holiday weekend travel.

The fire department says the blaze is burning on both sides of Interstate 210. The closure of a 12-mile stretch is expected to last through Saturday morning. 

The blaze was first reported around 1:30 p.m. local time on Friday off of La Tuna Canyon Road. 

Sept. 2, 11:33 a.m. Updated with Garcetti's comments.