Friday, 23 February, 2018

Evacuations ordered in Bel Air as wildfire burns near the 405 freeway

Wind-Driven Brush Fire Scorches 31,000 Acres in Santa Paula Wind-Driven Brush Fire Scorches 31,000 Acres in Santa Paula
Kristopher Love | 07 December, 2017, 01:37

Stewart said officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were arriving in the neighborhood to handle any potential evacuation orders.

UPDATE (9:00 am) SB Lanes of 405 from 101 to 10 now open. "Residents of Mandeville Canyon and Sullivan Canyon should be prepared for evacuation the department said". A massive wildfire, named the Skirball fire, has overtaken some of the area near the roadway and has threatened residents nearby.

The area is in the vicinity of the devastating 1961 "Bel Air fire" that destroyed about 500 homes. The fire is now estimated at 50,500 acres and is being pushed by strong east winds.

"This fire is very risky and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got", Brown said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Thomas Fire jumped to thousands of acres with startling speed as Santa Ana winds, blowing as fast as 35 to 50 miles per hour, carried its embers.

ABC 7 reported 350 firefighters from 52 engine companies were stationed at the scene, supported by helicopters making water drops and six fixed-wing aircrafts.

By 1 p.m. the northbound lanes of the 405 had also been reopened except for two of the slow lanes near the fire scene which are closed because of the staging of firefighting equipment.

Residents who had to evacuate from their homes described tense moments as the fires rapidly approached.

Another fire, dubbed the Creek Fire, raged near Sylmar and Kagel Canyon.

Strong winds were hindering the deployment of firefighting aircraft, according to fire officials.

"This has only just begun", said Terrazas.

Moraga Estate, the only working winery in Bel-Air and home of Twenty-First Century Fox and Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch, appears to be the latest casualty of wildfires spread by the Santa Ana winds in Southern California.