Santa Clarita fire
Screenshot CBSLA

A fast-moving bush fire that has already burned through 200 acres in Santa Clarita, California has forced the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people.

Around 1,000 people and 500 homes in Santa Clarita and Newhall were evacuated, Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department Commander Mike Parker told reporters. An additional 30 horses were being taken care of at the Hart Park emergency animal evacuation centre.

Another 200 people from Wildwood Canyon Road and about 100 people from the Crescent Valley Mobile Estates were evacuated. Officials also asked residents to leave from La Salle Canyon Drive, Oakbridge Lane, Pine Street and Champagne Lane.

Officials set up an evacuation centre in Santa Clarita at West Ranch High School.

Los Angeles County Deputy Chief John Tripp told reporters that the Calgrove fire was 25 percent contained. Firefighters were able to contain parts of the fire, but not before it damaged one garage.

The fire, which is on the verge of destroying hundreds of homes, began around 1.10pm local time on 24 June near the 5 Freeway, the Los Angeles Times reported. The interstate briefly closed but was reopened later on Wednesday (24 June), the California Highway Patrol announced.

Fire investigators were creating a grid along the interstate to determine the cause of the fire, an Tripp said.

According to the LA Times, around 450 firefighters were tasked with protecting structures in the Wildwood Canyon Road neighbourhood. Officials said four fixed-wing aircraft were dropping water on the fast-spreading fire. However, ABC7 reported that five helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were dropping 1,000 gallons of water on the flames.

Fire officials told reporters that a firefighter and an inmate fighting the fire had suffered minor injuries. The firefighter, who slipped and burned his hand, was taken to a local hospital.