Los Angeles Affluent Bel Air Region Fire Still Raging, 405 Reopened, But Evacuations Underway

belair-westgate2
Homes in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood were burning Wednesday morning as a wind-driven wildfire prompted closure of the 405 Freeway and triggered mandatory evacuations in an area of multimillion-dollar residences.
 skirball-fire-1

By 11 a.m., the Skirball fire had scorched 150 acres and destroyed four to six homes on Casiano Road and Moraga Drive, authorities said. Los Angeles fire officials said the fire was being fueled by 25 mph winds and likely would grow.

As of 9 a.m., the southbound 405 Freeway was open, but the northbound 405 remained closed between the 10 and 101 freeways.

1207_nws_ldn-l-skirball-web12

More than 350 firefighters, 52 engines and six fixed-wing aircraft were battling the blaze from the north, west and east. Weather forecasters predicted relatively cool temperatures, in the 50s and 60s, on Wednesday but with continued low humidity and winds stronger than 25 mph.

 

Ash and smoke swirled in the sky as firefighters battled to save at least one home engulfed in the blaze, atop a hill adjacent to the northbound 405 Freeway near Getty Center Drive.
 skirball-fire-2
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd