As of Wednesday afternoon, the Skirball Fire has led to the evacuations of 700 homes, one apartment building and an elementary school in the city’s Sepulveda Pass.
As of 7 p.m., the blaze had scorched 11,377 acres and remained at 0 percent containment.
No civilians or firefighters have been injured, but four homes have been destroyed and 11 damaged.
Roxanne Langer at Moraga Vineyards in Bel Air said a temperature-controlled wine storage shed burned after the fire erupted before dawn, but it was unclear how much wine was lost. The family that built the ranch more than 20 years ago was forced to flee the property when a fire crew arrived the morning of December 5. She and her family were given just enough time to gather some necessities but not their horses, Padilla said.
Sanders noted that a good portion of the flames were burning in steep, inaccessible terrain that hasn’t burned in decades or longer. In an interview with blogger Lee Rosenbaum, Ron Hartwig of the Getty said that the institution “was really designed and built to protect against disasters like a major fire”.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over the area Tuesday, announcing: “This fire is very risky and spreading rapidly”. Fixed-wing aircraft are unable to fly and gusts of up to 45 miles per hour are being felt, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said. But officials said the evacuation orders would remain because the winds were expected to kick back up again Wednesday night, keeping the fire danger real.
Large animals were ordered to evacuate at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, Pierce College and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. But the blaze did not grow overnight Wednesday, according to CalFire.
The mandatory evacuations included a mobile home park in Lopez Canyon; Arroyo Street north of the Foothill (210) Freeway; a mobile home park on Maclay Street; and the Pacoima Wash west of Sayre Street. It started Monday evening in a rural area and spread to the city.
Six fixed-wing state aircraft are spreading retardant in a horseshoe shape around the blaze, and multiple helicopters are responding, Garcetti said.
The unsafe Santa Ana winds that have fanned fires across Southern California this week have diminished over the new LA fire but conditions are very dry, with just 9 percent relative humidity.
A red-flag warning, which is for extreme weather conditions that could cause wildfires, is in effect until 8 p.m. PT Friday. “We are sending less resources to current 911 calls”, Terrazas said.