By Michael ARVIZU
Firefighters responded to a grass fire in Sunland late Sunday evening at Oro Vista Avenue and Big Tujunga Canyon Road, about a mile from the entrance to the Angeles National Forest.
The area was mostly dry brush consisting of chaparral and bamboo. No structures were threatened or damaged in the blaze, but several homes are located in nearby Riverwood Ranch about a mile from the incident.
The call was received at 10:29 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Dept. spokesman Brian Humphrey. A homeless man living in the area was critically burned in the blaze and was transported by ambulance to Mount Gleason Middle School where he was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. The investigation into the fire is ongoing. .
Engines from several firefighting entities, including engines from Pacoima, knocked down the blaze in about 15 minutes. The number of acres burned was undetermined Sunday evening.
Brian, (who did not wish to give his last name) credited the quick action by firefighters for preventing the blaze to get out of control.
“When I felt the wind, I said, ‘Oh no, there’s a fire’,” he said.
On Sunday night, the temperature in Sunland was in the low 80s, with winds at 8 miles per hour; however, winds picked up as the night progressed. The Los Angeles area is expecting low humidity and temperatures in the 100s as the week begins, increasing the fire danger. Temperatures in La Crescenta are expected to be in the 100′s on Monday with the rest of the weeks in the high 90′s.
“Only one good wind during that fire could have turned this into a much different scene,” said Sunland resident Tomi Bowling.