LA fire causing evacuations, closing freeways

National

In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 photo, a firefighter waits for water as the Saddleridge fire flares up near homes in Sylmar, Calif. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

4 a.m.

A wildfire fueled by Santa Ana winds has closed two freeways, is threatening homes and has forced evacuations around Los Angeles.

Fire officials say the Saddleridge fire had consumed more than 4,600 acres by 3 a.m. Friday.

It broke out after 9 p.m. Thursday along the 210 Freeway and jumped the highway. Flames also crossed the 5 Freeway. The highways were closed because of heavy smoke.

Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates neighborhoods.

Several homes were seen burning in Granada Hills, and the LA fire department said an “unknown number” of homes were potentially threatened.

There were no reports of injuries.

The blaze comes as hot, dry winds are raising concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.

___

10:15 p.m.

Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs Friday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.

Southern California Edison turned off electricity to about 20,000 people but warned that thousands more could lose service as Santa Ana winds gained strength.

Meanwhile Winds gusted dangerously as forecast in Northern California before weather conditions eased and the lights started to come back on. Planned blackouts affected millions and Pacific Gas & Electric faced hostility and second-guessing for its widespread shutoffs.

Over 500,000 PG&E customers were still waiting for power to come back on as of Thursday night.

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