Brush fire breaks out near Castaic, mandatory evacuations ordered, freeway shut down | LiveNOW from FOX

As temperatures soared across Southern California due to a late-summer heat wave, a brush fire erupted in Castaic on Wednesday afternoon, prompting a freeway closure and sending at least two people to the hospital. "With excessive heat in the forecast across much of the state and Western U.S., the grid operator is expecting high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and is calling for voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand," according to Cal-ISO. The power system operators warned that more Flex Alerts are likely to be posted in the coming week and through the Labor Day weekend. The "Route Fire" sparked around 12:20 p.m. near the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway just north of Lake Hughes Road, according to Angeles National Forest officials. A short time later, officials announced the freeway was closed in the area as crews battle the blaze. At last check, the fire has extended to about 250 acres, according to the LASD's Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Authorities said two firefighters have been taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The California Highway Patrol announced closures on both sides of the freeway. All southbound lanes were closed at Templin Highway and all northbound lanes were being diverted off at Parker Road. Caltrans said drivers should seek alternate routes because it's unknown when lanes will reopen. Alternate routes may include Route 14 and 138, the agency added. At the time of the fire, FOX 11 Meteorologist Maria Quiban said it was 107 degrees in the Castaic area, which is roughly 10 miles north of Santa Clarita. Firefighters from multiple agencies were working to knock down the hillside fire including CAL Fire, the Los County Fire Department, and the Angeles National Forest. EVACUATION ORDERS The Route Fire has prompted a mandatory evacuation order to go into effect for the following areas: Paradise Mobile Estates All buildings and structures south of Templin Highway along Upper Ridge Route Road All the impacted residents are being ordered to evacuate north of the area.

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