Ranchers and Firefighters battle Saddleridge Fire

Alejo+Morales%2C+35%2C+pours+water+onto+a+smoking+truck+on+the+west+side+of+the+ranch.+The+fire+was+on+their+property+on+Thursday%2C+but+they+were+able+to+fight+it+off.+Photo+credit%3A+Logan+Bik
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Ranchers and Firefighters battle Saddleridge Fire

Alejo Morales, 35, pours water onto a smoking truck on the west side of the ranch. The fire was on their property on Thursday, but they were able to fight it off. Photo credit: Logan Bik

Alejo Morales, 35, pours water onto a smoking truck on the west side of the ranch. The fire was on their property on Thursday, but they were able to fight it off. Photo credit: Logan Bik

Alejo Morales, 35, pours water onto a smoking truck on the west side of the ranch. The fire was on their property on Thursday, but they were able to fight it off. Photo credit: Logan Bik

Alejo Morales, 35, pours water onto a smoking truck on the west side of the ranch. The fire was on their property on Thursday, but they were able to fight it off. Photo credit: Logan Bik

Logan Bik

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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.

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The ranchers create a chain to pass buckets of water up the hill. One of the tree trucks was beginning to spark up again. Photo credit: Logan Bik

The Sandletree Ranch caretakers had fought the fires throughout the night with hoses and buckets while getting all of the horses and bulls evacuated. On the following morning, they came out to check up on things one last time.

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

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The young men of the ranch watch as one of the workers hoses down the stalls to prevent damage in case the fire comes back. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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.

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Josue Garcia, 18, attempts to use the melted portable faucet after it has been melted from the flames. Photo credit: Logan Bik

“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.

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

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Saddletree ranch amongst the charred ground and closed 210 Freeway. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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 already in previous fires. The firefighters were working hard to keep the community from engulfed in flames once again.

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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.

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Firefighters use the deluge gun on top of the fire truck to hose down the hot spots in the area. The crew decided to use this method, opposed to walking in with lines, to prevent trees from falling on the men. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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

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Captian Dave Lindsay, 48, assists Carlos Barrera as he locates the hotspots from the fire burning through the night before. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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

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High winds have caused the chairs in the Oakridge Estates dog park to overturn as flames start up in the background. Firefighters responded to the flames shortly after. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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A sign on one of the homes in Oakridge Estates reads, "Im Living. We Here." None of the homes in the Estates were burned by the fires. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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

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One of the many firefighters in Oakridge Estates putting out flames. This fireman has a pinkish red residue on his uniform and helmet from fire retardant dumped from either a helicopter or airplane. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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LA county firefighters working to put out any hot spots in the Oakridge Estates on Friday October 11. Photo credit: Logan Bik

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.

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Red takes over the night sky as flames and smoke fill the Sylmar area on Thursday October 10. Photo credit: Shae Hammond