The fire that began on Oat Mountain above Porter Ranch doubled in size overnight to 9,872 acres and was burning southwest across Ventura County, while the Marek fire that began near Little Tujunga Canyon was reported 70% contained after doing most of its damage yesterday. The Porter Ranch-area fire (or Sesnon fire, as the authorities call it) burned right up to homes in Granada Hills this morning. The Times found a family that was evacuating with valuables and four 50-pound African tortoises -- Fred, Barney, Mike and Ike -- in the back of a pickup truck.
Mayor Villaraigosa's office put out these street closures and travel advisories for the Valley:
Motorists should expect most northbound streets from Rinaldi Street to be restricted to emergency vehicles throughout the day. Southbound lanes will be available for evacuation. Rinaldi, Devonshire, and Lassen Streets are available as east-west detours around the impacted area, except that Rinaldi Street will be closed from Reseda Boulevard to Zelzah Avenue.
In the event that mandatory evacuations become necessary, traffic on Valley Circle Boulevard will be restricted to southbound only. If necessary, the evacuation route for residents west of Valley Circle Boulevard will southbound on Valley Circle Boulevard and eastbound on major streets including Ingomar Street, Saticoy Street, Vanowen Street, Victory Boulevard, and Burbank Boulevard.
Motorists should expect delays in and around the fire areas. Smoke may limit visibility and distract other drivers, causing hazardous driving
conditions. As always, yield to emergency vehicles.
When possible the following areas should be avoided.
Topanga Canyon Boulevard northbound from Chatsworth Avenue
DeSoto Avenue northbound at Rinaldi Street
Corbin Avenue northbound at Porter Ranch Drive
Mason Avenue northbound at Celtic Street
Mason Avenue northbound at Corbin Street
Ronald Reagan 118 Freeway between Reseda Boulevard and Stearns Avenue