USA

Brush fires in Santa Clarita and Hawthorne force freeway closures

Brush fires forced the closure of two freeways in Los Angeles County on Sunday afternoon amid hot and dry conditions in the region.

In Santa Clarita, a brush fire that broke out in the area of Soledad Canyon Road jumped the 14 Freeway at around 4 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The freeway was closed in that area.

The fire had grown to 400 acres by 4:45 p.m., the fire department said, with the potential to grow to 1,000 acres.

Around the same time, all southbound lanes of the 405 Freeway at El Segundo Boulevard were shut down because of a nearby brush fire in Hawthorne, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The causes of the fires were still unknown Sunday afternoon. It was not clear when the freeways would open.

The fires follow a night of relentless Fourth of July pyrotechnics. L.A. firefighters responded to thousands of emergency calls Saturday and extinguished at least one large blaze that consumed half an apartment complex in Northridge, officials said.

Dry conditions, hot temperatures and high winds in some parts of L.A. County have raised concerns about the potential for fires to spread quickly over the weekend.

Minimum humidities dropped to the single digits and teens in many inland and foothill areas on Sunday, while high temperatures in those areas were forecast to reach up to 10 degrees above normal, the National Weather Service said.

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