LA COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES — On Monday, firefighters were working to contain a brush fire that had already burnt 40 acres and endangered homes worth millions of dollars in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood. Residents were told to evacuate the area.
As reported by the Los Angeles Fire Department, the blaze began in the 500 block of North Palisades Drive at around 10:30 a.m. and swiftly spread to consume an acre of land.
At one hour into the battle, the Palisades Fire had spread to at least 30 acres, endangering homes on Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane, according to fire officials.
An Order of Mandatory Evacuation was Issued for the Following Geographical Area:
West Charmel Lane, east Bienveneda Avenue, north end of Lachman Lane, south Merivale Lane. One fire officer estimated that the order to evacuate had an effect on about 200 dwellings. The Palisades Recreation Center at 851 Alma Real Dr. was converted into an emergency shelter.
At 9:30 p.m. on Monday, the evacuation order was officially cancelled. All clear has been given for residents to return to their properties. The LAFD issued a warning telling everyone in the neighbourhood to escape immediately while remaining calm and orderly.
The agency issued a statement warning of the coming of a fixed-wing firefighting aircraft that will drop retardant over the area, as well as the likelihood of altered fire and smoke behaviour.
It was earlier reported that inhabitants of the affluent neighbourhood had fled the area as the fire approached their homes. From above, it appears like at least a few people stood along the cliff’s edge, spraying the flames with water from garden hoses.
Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department sent over 300 firefighters to fight the blaze from the air and the ground.
By 11:50 a.m., they had successfully contained the fires that had been fanned by the terrain and had spread to backyard trees and shrubbery, as shown on Sky5 footage. Less than thirty minutes later, the blaze was contained, but thick plumes of smoke could be seen for miles over the rooftops of nearby residences.
No Buildings have been Affected.
At first, no one reported being hurt, and the Fire Department had no idea what to do. But later on, a stretcher bearing what looked like a firefighter was seen being escorted to an ambulance. Neither the nature of the injuries nor the firefighter’s status were revealed.
It was predicted that Santa Ana winds would emerge in L.A. County on Monday, but officials say the wind did not play a role in the development of the Palisades Fire.
Firefighters were helped by the absence of winds and by people who complied with brush removal restrictions, according to LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey.
According to Humphrey, a minimum of 200 feet of brush clearance is necessary in Pacific Palisades. According to him, it’s the most stringent mandate in the whole state.
However, even with high levels of compliance, difficulties persist in this region.
Including the green vegetation, “this entire land is extremely volatile and flammable,” Humphrey warned. “So it might deceive you into believing what’s in compliance and what’s not,” said one fire official. “We want folks to have that talk with firemen — to look at the materials online and make sure that they’re keeping their property as safe as possible.”