Skirball Fire 5 Percent Contained as Winds Expected to Reach 80 MPH

09 December, 2017, 05:16 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • A firefighter battles flames in poor visibility in Lake View Terrace on Dec. 5 2017

Video from the local NBC News affiliate showed flames at what the newscaster said was believed to be the 21st Century Fox mogul's 16-acre estate, which includes 13 acres of grape vines, Variety reported.

LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said red flag conditions are expected to remain in effect through the rest of the week, with gusting Santa Ana winds presenting a continuing danger of rapidly spreading blazes. Residents living west of the 405 should brace for evacuations as well in the event the flames cross the freeway.

The Thomas Fire raged in the foothills above and in the city of Ventura some 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Los Angeles, fire officials said late Tuesday.

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. The Getty Center and the Getty Villa, which are free to visit, were closed on Wednesday except for essential staff because of the fires and smoke. UCLA announced on Twitter the campus is safe and not in the fire evacuation zone. High winds combined with heavy smoke and blowing ash hindered firefighters' ability to contain those fires, including the Skirball Fire. All of the westbound off-ramps from the 2 Freeway to the 5 Freeway remain closed, and four eastbound off-ramps were also closed: Osborne, Wheatland, Sunland and La Tuna Canyon, CHP said.

While no update was given Thursday on how many residents are being evacuated, Wednesday night estimates put the total number of evacuees at around 110,000 across southern California.


The blazes brought evacuation orders for almost 200,000 people, destroyed almost 200 homes and have remained mostly out control.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is closing all schools.

A SigAlert was expanded at 6:45 a.m., shutting down the freeway in both directions from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway, the CHP stated.

The Skirball Fire encompasses parts of Bel Air, Holmby Hills, and Brentwood, and is affecting the surrounding food-friendly neighborhoods, including Westwood. The Skirball Cultural Center is also closed, and the center tweeted that ticket holders for "Noah's Ark" will be issued refunds.

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