#SkirballFire Update: More Evacuations Underway, As Fire Rages Near 405, ‘We’re Not Completely Out Of The Wood Yet’

Firefighters battling steep, inaccessible terrain kept a handle overnight on a brush fire burning in the hills east of the 405 freeway. Winds were not as fierce as forecasted overnight, but officials are still concerned about today’s forecast, which calls for strong gusts.25008397_192969317921511_33935975419740160_n
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who reps the area, said this morning that “nothing has gotten worse” but “we’re not completely out of the woods yet.”

Mandatory evacuations are still in place for 46,000 Bel Air residents. The fire has burned through 475 acres and destroyed four homes and damaged 11 others, including an apartment building.


Firefighters slept overnight at the Getty Center, which is located across from the fire on the west side of the freeway.


The blaze is now 20 percent contained. It erupted around 4 a.m. Wednesday, near where the 405 meets Sepulveda Boulevard. Gusty winds helped drive the fire up the hill, where it’s threatening homes. Those winds diminished throughout the day on Wednesday.


“The famed Bel Air fire of 61  had a similar footprint … we lost over 500 homes in that fire. The thing that stopped that fire was the wind died down,” Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said. “The greatest threat will continue to be the wind.”

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd