Six Flags Magic Mountain, in Santa Clarita, is in the middle of the latest California wildfire, dubbed the Sky Fire, and guests on Sunday were temporarily trapped.
TMZ says that smoke and flames were lapping at the amusement park, causing understandable panic among the guests who weren’t able to leave the park and adjacent water park, Hurricane Harbor. Many patrons caught the flames and smoke on their phones, and posted the videos on social media, where the rides, including the roller coasters, could still be seen running in the background.
One guest who was on the park’s biggest roller coaster, Goliath, took a video while going up the tracks with smoke billowing in the background, which looked scary and ominous.
TMZ says that, initially, authorities tried to evacuate the guests, but then they were told to find a safe place within the park.
“According to authorities, the fire has burned up to 50 acres and is 20 percent contained as of about 3 p.m. PT. At first, guests were being evacuated… but were eventually told to bunker down in the park as all the exit roads nearby were closed for the time being.”
Shortly afterward, people were allowed to leave, and fled en masse.
While there were luckily no injuries, it is surprising that the park says it will reopen on Monday.
The Los Angeles Times says that Melanie Flores, a supervising dispatcher for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, says that Six Flags Magic Mountain decided to evacuate themselves without the go-ahead from the fire department. She said that Magic Mountain was evacuating, but they did it on their own and were not told to do it.
Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard, says that Sunday was the first heat wave of the season, and warned that things won’t be much better on Monday, so people should be aware of the continued risks.
“Monday will also be on the warm and dry side — maybe a degree or two warmer in the San Fernando Valley. And by Tuesday, we’re going to be looking at temperatures in the low 100s in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley,” Hoxsie said.
WLS-TV says that the Sky Fire broke out between Old Lane and Skyview Lane near the Six Flags entrance, but by the late afternoon local time, it was 20 percent contained. Park employee Richard Waldron says he was working at the entry gate, and the smoke kept getting thicker.
“It became a respiratory issue. There was ash falling around,” he said.