Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Skirball Fire burns 150 acres near Getty Museum

Skirball Fire burns 150 acres near Getty Museum

The brush fire that burned several homes in Bel-Air on Wednesday echoed back to one of Los Angeles' most destructive fires, which hit the same neighborhood in 1961.

The Skirball Fire started near the 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.

More than 125 firefighters were battling the blaze and working to save homes in the area, according to the Times.

LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said the drones will be used "for the first time ever", primarily to conduct property assessment as the agency surveys damage caused by the Creek Fire near Sylmar and the Skirball Fire in the Bel Air and Sepulveda Pass.

Leo Baeck Temple, Stephen Wise Temple, American Jewish University's Familian Campus and the Skirball Cultural Centre all were closed due to the fire, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.

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. But we also maintain the brush, so that we don't have combustible materials.

"With winds like these, it can be anything", Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. The 405 Freeway, a major commuting highway, also has been closed. The fire, which had zero containment, destroyed at least 150 structures and was threatening 12,000 others.

"Calls are being rerouted so you will get help!" the station tweeted.

The winds were part of the season's "strongest and longest" Santa Ana event.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Butler said firefighters and aircraft stopped the growth of the 475-acre blaze in the Bel Air neighbourhood.

The Getty Center, which has an air filtration system to protect its galleries, is closed Wednesday due to smoke from all the area wildfires.

Some 43,000 people lost power as a result of the fires, but by Wednesday afternoon less than 9,000 customers were still without power, according to Southern California Edison.

"I suppose that's good news we don't have anybody", said Kirstin Zullo, the shelter coordinator at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center in West Los Angeles.

The Conejo Valley Unified School District is closing all schools.

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