Fire in Santa Clarita Not Started By Film Set, Says LA County Fire Department

Despite early reports that a film production set off an explosion and subsequent brush fire in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, officials say that isn’t the case.

“We’re unsure of how the rumor of it being a movie shoot got out. There’s no evidence leading us in that direction thus far,” says Jonathan Matheny, a Los Angeles County Fire Department public information officer, who said the inciting event occurred at a business within an industrial park.

According to multiple reports, there was a loud explosion at around 4:45 p.m. in the afternoon on the 25100 block of Rye Canyon Road in Valencia, California, an area north of Los Angeles. It sparked a brush fire — quickly dubbed the Rye Fire — that 125 firefighters and two helicopters were ultimately able to hold to one acre. It is no longer an active fire.

An investigation is being conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and their bomb squad, say Matheny. He adds the public can expect an update as to the source of the explosion in the next day or so. In the meantime, locals were advised to stay clear of the area, which is about 30 miles north of downtown L.A.

Three people who were present at the time of the explosion were injured with serious burns. They were transported to local trauma centers by paramedics for treatment. A fourth victim was said to have driven themself to the hospital for injuries, as well.

It’s unclear where reports of the fire starting on a movie set originated. The Santa Clarita film office, which tracks film production in the region, told THR that they didn’t have any productions permitted in the area today and have no additional knowledge of the explosion or subsequent fire other than what’s already been reported.

“The city of Santa Clarita did not issue any permits for filming in the Rye Canyon area today,” Evan Thomason, who heads the city’s film office. “Any special effects tests would be permitted by LA County Fire Film Unit, but we have no confirmation of any such tests.”

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Alice G. Collins

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