Over the weekend, a giant wildfire near Los Angeles expanded to 33,000 acres and destroyed nearly 20 homes. The blaze caused mass evacuations, wrecked film sets and killed at least one person. It also inspired a bit of confusion with its name, the Sand Fire.
The wildfire isn't "a sand fire" but rather "the Sand Fire," called such because of its location in the Sand Canyon, a community about two and a half hours away from Los Angeles by car. The Sand Fire began Friday as a brush fire on the side of a road in Santa Clarita, according to the Pacific Standard. Since then, it's spiraled out of control — as of Monday morning, only about 10 percent of the flames had been contained, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's Incident Information System.
"That fire came through like a freight train," KABC reported Los Angeles County Fire Department Commander John Tripp said. "We've never seen a fire come into Sand Canyon like that and neither have those residents."
A man's body was found Saturday night in a burned car on Iron Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, KTLA reported. Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez told My News LA the death didn't appear to be suspicious, though an autopsy was planned to further investigate his death.
The blaze grew so quickly because of the dry conditions and strong winds. California's drought has caused "very extreme fire behavior," Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said at a news conference Sunday. It's threatened more than 10,000 buildings, closed various highways and even shut down evacuation centers.
Among the structures decimated by the Sand Fire was the Sable Ranch, a set where shows like "24" and movies like "The Bells of Coronado" had been filmed over the years, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In addition, 18 homes burned down, and more than 300 families were evacuated.
"At some point, you know you're defeated and you have to step back and save what you can," resident Derek Hunt reportedly told KABC. "We fought as best as we could."