1 confirmed fatality as Saddleridge fire tears path of destruction across the northern San Fernando Valley

Image 1 of 11

One fatality was confirmed Friday morning related to a rapidly growing fire that has torn a path of destruction across the northern San Fernando Valley. 

The wildfire broke out on Thursday night in the Sylmar area near the 210 Freeway at Yarnel Street.

The fire is being called the "Saddleridge" fire and is being driven by high 50 mph winds in the area.

An adult male died after going into cardiac arrest on Thursday night, fire officials said.

A firefighter was also injured and was transported to a hospital for treatment. 

More than 23,000 homes were under mandatory evacuations. At least one commercial structure and 25 homes were destroyed and several other structures are threatened.

“We need people to leave now while they can,” fire officials warned during a press conference Friday morning. "If you stay in [mandatory evacution] areas we cannot guarantee that we will save you.”

The fire has already scorched over 4,700 acres and continues to grow at a rate of 800 acres per hour. There is no containment on this fire at this time.

Related: Multiple fires spark in Inland Empire after strong winds hit region


-Twin Lakes

-Indian Springs

-Indian Falls Estates

-Brown’s Canyon

-All of Porter Ranch north of the 118 Freeway 

-The Oakridge Estates community north of the 210 Freeway

-West of Balboa Boulevard, North of Sesnon Boulevard to the Ventura County border with Mason Avenue as the current western border


VIEW: Evacuation map


-East and westbound 210 Freeway between the 5 Freeway and 118 Freeway

-South 14 at Newhall from Highway 126 to the 5 Freeway

-North 14 at Newhall

-North 5 Freeway at the 118 Freeway

-South 5 Freeway from Calgrove Boulevard to the 210

-North 405 Freeway from the 118 Freeway

-Westbound 118 Freeway from Balboa to DeSoto

-The northbound and southbound I-5 connectors to the eastbound 118 Freeway



-Sylmar Recreation Center located at 13109 Borden Avenue, Sylmar - People with small pets welcomed

-Granada Hills Recreation Center located at 16730 Chatsworth Street, Granada Hills - People with small pets welcomed (opening at 2:30 a.m.) — 4:30 a.m. UPDATE: The Granada Hills Rec Center is now FULL and not able to accept any more residents

-Northridge Rec Center located at 18300 Lemarsh St, Northridge 

-Rancho Santa Susana Community Center located at 5005 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley

-Large animals can be evacuated to Hansen Dam Equine Shelter located at 11127 Orcas Avenue

-Large animals can also be evacuated to West Valley Animal Shelter located at 20655 Plummer Street

-Mason Recreation Center located at 10500 Mason Ave, Chatsworth - People with small pets welcomed — 7:30 a.m. UPDATE: Mason Rec Center is now FULL and not able to accept any more residents


The Saddleridge fire caused damage to two LADWP circuits. Additionally, at least 16 power poles were damaged by the flames and will need to be replaced, according to LADWP. At least 870 customers are reportedly without power.

Related: Power outages due to wildfires, fire conditions 

Classes were canceled at dozens of area schools on Friday due to the raging inferno. Click here for a complete list.

Related: Schools affected by wildfires announce closures, schedule changes

At 11:30 p.m., fire officials said a 30-acre spot fire jumped the 5 Freeway -- to the area West of the 5 Freeway and west of Balboa.

Los Angeles police are warning residents in Granada Hills and Chatsworth to be ready to evacuate as the fire continues burning towards those areas.

SkyFOX aerial footage showed several semitrailers being consumed by the flames as the winds drove embers across the freeway that looked like waves in an ocean.


An unknown number of homes are potentially threatened, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Several homes have already been destroyed.

"If you live in that area, please just pack up and leave now," Stewart said.

"Fire is uncontrolled. If told to evacuate, leave while you can," LAPD Chief Michael Moore said. "Otherwise you’re jeopardizing your life and firefighters’ lives."


The nearby Aliso Canyon So Cal Gas facility, that was the site of the worst natural gas leak in U.S. history, is being threatened by flames.

Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar was in the process of being evacuated at 6:45 a.m. Friday.

Metrolink train and bus service was suspended through the Newhall Pass. AV Line 200 to Los Angeles was canceled at Santa Clarita on Friday due to the fire. Metrolink was offering train 200 passengers at Sylmar, Sun Valley and Burbank Airport North Station an alternative transit voucher for up to $50. 

Santa Clarita Transit canceled all commuter service on Friday until further notice.

Amtrak Thruway Bus Service has been temporarily disrupted between Bakersfield, Calif. and Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Police Department is on a citywide tactical alert in response to the Saddleridge fire and are working with LAFD to carry out any necessary evacuations.

More than 1,300 firefighters were battling the Saddleridge fire, including at least 63 fire companies, and eight helicopters. Hundreds of police officers were also assisting. 


The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

FOX 11's Shelly Insheiwat contributed to this report.