Ranchers and Firefighters battle Saddleridge Fire

The Saddleridge Fire has left the people of Sylmar and surrounding areas displaced from their homes, families and horses. A group of ranchers stuck around Thursday night to fight the flames and protect their horses and property.

Logan Bik

The Sandletree Ranch caretakers fought the Saddleridge fire last night with garden hoses and buckets while evacuating their horses and bulls. On the following morning, they returned to the ranch to check up the damage .

“We had to fight the fire ourselves because the firefighters weren’t coming by our ranch for some reason,” said Josue Garcia.

The flames started to take over the hills of Sylmar just above the 210 Freeway, where the ranch was located. The group at Saddletree Ranch worked fast and was able to save all of the 30 to 40 horses and bulls on the property.

“I posted on my Instagram asking for people to come with trailers to help out. Within 10 to 30 minutes we had a bunch of people with trailers loading up the horses. The community really came together and helped us out,” said Alejo Morales.

The horses were then taken to surrounding ranches away from the fire.

While horses were being taken off the ranch firefighters were busy fighting to save the Oakridge Estates just around the corner. The estates have burned down twice in previous fires. Firefighters were working to keep the community from engulfed in flames once again.

The community was evacuated, but none of the homes were burned. The fire department made visits the following afternoon to check up on hot spots and ensure nothing would spark up again.

“We were out here last night doing everything we could to keep the fire away from the homes,” said Dave Lindsay, captain of L.A. County fire department engine 33.

As of today, the the areas under mandatory evacuation according to Los Angeles Fire Department include:

  • Porter Ranch North of 118FY from Reseda to Iverson
  • Oakridge Estates (north of 210FY)
  • West of Balboa, North of Sesnon to the Ventura County border with DeSoto as the western border

The firefighters are continuing the fight against the flames until it is 100% contained.

In a statement released by CSUN, the campus will continue to be closed Friday, October 11 through Sunday, October 13 with all events canceled this weekend. Students and staff should check back to the CSUN.edu for updates on the campus closure.