Fire burning in Sepulveda Pass

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A brush fire burning in the Sylmar area has prompted officials to ask several residents to evacuate their homes early Tuesday morning.

The 50-acre brush fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, broke out just before 5 a.m. Wednesday near where Interstate 405 intersects with Mulholland Drive in Bel-Air.

The Foothill (210) Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway on the west and the Glendale (2) Freeway and aren't expected to be reopened until at least later this morning. Areas north of the 210 Freeway between Little Tujunga and Sayre Street were under mandatory evacuation.

A number of wildfires were burning in the Los Angeles County area, but the Sylmar "Creek Fire" was the biggest. And by about 7 a.m., mandatory evacuations had been ordered in Little Tujunga Canyon, Kagel Canyon, and Lopez Canyon, according to the sheriff's department.

The fire erupted as hundreds of firefighters are battling the 31,000 acre Thomas Fire near Ventura.

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The fire threatened homes toward the top of the hill on the east side of the freeway.

A SigAlert was issued for the closure of all northbound lanes on the 405 Freeway just after 5 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol's traffic incident log.

But by early Tuesday afternoon, the eastern boundary of the evacuation area had been expanded to the Haynes Canyon area. A second center is available to evacuees at the Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick Street.

Some 105 patients were being voluntarily evacuated from Mountain View Convalescent Center on Fenton Ave in Sylmar, said LAFD, noting that they had no reported injuries from any civilians.

More than 125 firefighters were on the scene and that water-dropping helicopters were being used, the newspaper said. Both were closed for the day, as was Santa Monica College and all schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district. More than 600 firefighters battled the blaze amid strong Santa Ana winds, some gusting at 70 miles per hour. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so".

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