Brush fire north of Los Angeles forces evacuations

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Almost 40 horses died after being trapped in a barn that caught fire from embers caused by the Creek Fire at Rancho Padilla in Sylmar. That is double the containment figure from Wednesday.

Sheriff's officials did not provide an update on the number of residents who remained evacuated, but on Thursday about 250,000 people were under evacuation orders. Numerous first responders including the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forestry Department were sent to the scene. Padilla said she and her family were able to get out of her home just in time Tuesday morning but were not able to take their horses with them. The fire has come within a quarter-mile from Ventura City Hall. Information on Los Angeles Unified School District campuses can be found here.

Twenty- one charter schools in the area also will be closed today.

Terrazas warned that the battle was likely to continue until at least Friday. He said the usual threshold for extreme fire conditions is 165.

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The 210 Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway on the west and the Glendale (2) Freeway. The Creek Fire grew to over 4,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon as hundreds of firefighters were deployed to push back the flames. Also, an area south of the 210 Freeway was ordered evacuated in the Shadow Hills area, in a roughly triangular area between Sunland Boulevard to the south, Wentworth Street to the north and Wheatland Avenue to the west.

A dozen evacuation centers were opened throughout the San Fernando Valley, and all were accepting evacuees, including those with pets. Those centers are the Sylmar Recreation Center and the Sunland Senior Citizen Center.

An evacuation area for large animals was established at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave.; and at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, but the latter was filled to capacity by mid-morning.