WENY News - 500-Acre Rye Fire in Santa Clarita Prompts Closure of 5 Freeway;

500-Acre Rye Fire in Santa Clarita Prompts Closure of 5 Freeway; LASD Station, Schools Without Power in Area

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CINDY VON QUEDNOW AND STEVE KUZJ,

Los Angeles, CA -- A 500-acre brush fire in Santa Clarita has prompted the closure of the 5 Freeway in both directions in the area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The freeway is closed at the 126 Freeway for an unknown duration of time as a safety precaution, the CHP reported.

The Rye Fire started about 9:55 a.m. in the 25100 block of Rye Canyon Road, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

It was first reported about 5 acres but quickly grew to 200 acres and the response was upgraded, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

The fire was at 500 acres as of 11:40 a.m.

Medium to light brush was burning and no structures have been threatened. Intense winds appeared to cause the fire to jump and is now burning near a power plant in the area, a concern for firefighters battling the flames.

Five schools in the area are without power but have not been evacuated, according to the Santa Clarita city officials.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that the 9-1-1 system is down at the Santa Clarita station because of a power outage. Calls are being rerouted.

The Rye Canyon Loop area has been evacuated and Valencia High School is being used at as evacuation center.

Newhall Ranch Road is also closed between the 126 and Rye Canyon Road, the city reported.

Rye Canyon Loop to Kelly Johnson Parkway is also closed.

The Rye Fire burns as the Creek Fire in Sylmar and Thomas Fire in Ventura County are wreaking havoc. Thousands of acres have been scorched and thousands of homes have been evacuated.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Scott Miller told KTLA that resources are a bit stretched for the Rye Fire, but officials were expecting more to come in. He added that the firefighters have a "really good" perimeter surrounding the fire and they hope to have a good handle on it.

KTLA

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