3,000 LA-Area Homes Evacuated as Brush Fire Sweeps Across 200 Acres

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) --  Three thousand homes were evacuated in the Calabasas and West Hills areas of Los Angeles County Saturday, as a fast-moving brush fire encompassing more than 200 acres swept throughout the area, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

Around 8:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, officials announced that 15 percent of the fire had been contained. About 200 firefighters, aided by bulldozers and water-dropping helicopters, battled the blaze.

Initially, officials said they expected evacuees to begin returning to their homes around 8 a.m. on Sunday, barring winds or flare-ups, but around 1 a.m. local time, the LACFD tweeted, "#OldFire Update** residents in Calabasas area will be allowed to go back @ 2am. Note power might still be out.Topanga evac still in place."

A handful of fires erupted in Calabasas -- located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley -- and neighboring West Hills, but the West Hills blaze was doused quickly, while the other fires combined and grew to more than 200 acres.

Between 500 and 600 of the 3,000 evacuations were mandatory, LACFD captain Roland Sprewell said Saturday night, adding that he was unable to provide a figure on the number of homes damaged. Earlier in the evening, though, officials had said about 350 structures were threatened.

More than 5,000 people were impacted by the fire, Sprewell said. That figure includes those affected by evacuations and road blockages.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but officials are investigating. According to a statement from the City of Calabasas, the fire had three separate starts.

At its peak, 50-foot-high flames raced along ridgelines and torched trees and brush near many of the area's multi-million-dollar homes.

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