Saddleridge fire forces Thousands to Evacuate over the Weekend

Brad+Smulson+tosses+animal+supplies+in+a+bucket%2C+he+and+his+wife+think+of+themselves+as+the+animal+Red+Cross%2C+they+travel+to+different+evacuee+centers+giving+free+animal+supplies.+Granada+Hills+Rec.+Center%2C+Granada+Hill%2C+Calif.+Oct.+11%2C+2019.+Photo+credit%3A+Shae+Hammond
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Saddleridge fire forces Thousands to Evacuate over the Weekend

Brad Smulson tosses animal supplies in a bucket, he and his wife think of themselves as the animal Red Cross, they travel to different evacuee centers giving free animal supplies. Granada Hills Rec. Center, Granada Hill, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Brad Smulson tosses animal supplies in a bucket, he and his wife think of themselves as the animal Red Cross, they travel to different evacuee centers giving free animal supplies. Granada Hills Rec. Center, Granada Hill, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Brad Smulson tosses animal supplies in a bucket, he and his wife think of themselves as the animal Red Cross, they travel to different evacuee centers giving free animal supplies. Granada Hills Rec. Center, Granada Hill, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Brad Smulson tosses animal supplies in a bucket, he and his wife think of themselves as the animal Red Cross, they travel to different evacuee centers giving free animal supplies. Granada Hills Rec. Center, Granada Hill, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Shae Hammond

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Evacuees from the Saddleridge Fire retreated to churches and recreation centers throughout the San Fernando Valley to escape smoke and flames from the fire which started late Thursday evening.

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A woman walks her dog outside of the Shepard Church in Porter Ranch, Calif. On Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Many of the evacuees were told to leave their homes early Friday morning.

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Police officers prepare to escort people who have been evacuated into their neighborhood in Porter Ranch, Calif. On Oct. 11, 2019. Photo by: Shae Hammond Photo credit: Shae Hammond

According to a Red Cross representative, the Granada Hills Recreation Center had a line of evacuees outside of the premises at 2:30 am.

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Brad Smulson tosses animal supplies in a bucket, he and his wife think of themselves as the animal Red Cross, they travel to different evacuee centers giving free animal supplies. Granada Hills Rec. Center, Granada Hill, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Porter Ranch resident Sujin Hong said, “I woke up at around 2 am just because I smelled smoke. The fire came so fast that the police officers came around 3:30, by then we were ready to go, we got here by 4.”

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Sujin Hong and her mother evacuated to the Granada Hills Rec Center after they were evacuated from their Porter Ranch home. Granada Hills, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

For some, the fire wasn’t the first time they were told to leave their neighborhoods for safety. Four years ago a natural gas leak in the area forced an evacuation.

While taking refuge in The Shepard Church Tinna Otero reminisced, “I’ve been through two fires and lost everything in both so this was pretty stressful for me. If you lose everything a third time, it’s a lot. The church is awesome, otherwise [my family] wouldn’t have any place to go.”

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Tinna Otero and her husband Tyler Otero were evacuated at approximately 2:30 in the morning from their Porter Ranch home, this is the second time Tinna has had to evacuate from Porter Ranch. The family watches the fire from the television provided by the Shepard Church in Porter Ranch, Calif. On Oct. 11, 2019. Photo by: Shae Hammond

A resident of Porter Ranch, Crystal Martin, explained that she has lived in Porter Ranch for 19 years and has had to evacuate twice. Once in the early 2000s and again four years ago. “This is the only time that we have been away for so long,” Said Martin, “They would normally be able to contain it and we would be back home.”

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Crystal Martin sits in the Shepard Church with her sister and three small dogs. She was evacuated from her Porter Ranch home the previous night at approximately 2:30 in the morning. Porter Ranch, Calif. Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

By Friday afternoon, the flames in the San Fernando Valley had subsided.

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Barrett Vonderau explains how he and is brother Braden Vonderau had to stand on their roof and water the house while the fire was blazing around them. He shows a video he took that night near O'Melveny Park, Calif. On Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

Porter Ranch residents had the opportunity to be escorted into their neighborhoods on Friday afternoon.

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Police officers prepare to escort residents of Porter Ranch into their neighborhoods at the Porter Ranch Town Center in Porter Ranch, Calif. On Oct. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Shae Hammond

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Tinna Otero and her husband Tyler Otero were evacuated at approximately 2:30 in the morning from their Porter Ranch home, this is the second time Tinna has had to evacuate from Porter Ranch. The family watches the fire from the television provided by the Shepard Church in Porter Ranch, Calif. On Oct. 11, 2019. Photo by: Shae Hammond

A line of cars were parked in the Power Ranch Town Center. Police checked for identification, then proceeded to escort small groups at a time.

While people waited, a heated argument took place in the parking lot in front of the Best Buy, as people watched anxiously to see their homes.

Large Animal Evacuation Center at Pierce College

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Aixa Corona, 15, feeds carrots to her horse named Regalo at the Pierce College Equestrian Center on Oct. 11, 2019, in Woodland Hills, Calif. Regalo is an evacuee of the Saddleridge Fire, coming from Porter Ranch. Photo credit: Natalie Miranda

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(Left to right) Tracy Campbell and Constancio Babilonia evacuate their horses named Big Red and Cierra to the Pierce College Equestrian Center during the Saddleridge Fire on Oct. 11, 2019, in Woodland Hills, Calif. Photo credit: Natalie Miranda

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Megan Silveira, the shelter manager for the L.A. County Animal Control Equine Response Team, talks on the phone at the Pierce College Equestrian Center on Oct. 11, 2019, in Woodland Hills, Calif. Silveira is helping those displaced by the Saddleridge Fire. Photo credit: Natalie Miranda

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(Left to right) Jose Barbara (father) helps Sophie Barbara (daughter) secure her mask to protect her from inhaling smoke after spending time with their evacuated horse at the Pierce College Equestrian Center in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Oct. 11, 2019, during the Saddleridge Fire. Photo credit: Natalie Miranda