More than 300 firefighters tackle fast-moving brush fire in Pacific Palisades

Daily Mail Online 1 month ago

Hundreds of multi-million dollar mansions in the Los Angeles celebrity enclave of Pacific Palisades are under threat from wildfires as stars including Sofia Richie have shared photos of the 40-acre blaze entering the area that A-listers including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Kobe Bryant call home.  

Officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an emergency call at 10.40am Monday to a brush fire around 500 North Palisades drive, which quickly burned an acre.

An hour into the firefight, the blaze grew in excess of 30 acres and was threatening homes along Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane, some of which are valued in excess of $4million.

Residents could be seen in aerial footage fleeing as the fire advanced on the affluent coastal community as some stood near the edge of the hillside and attempted to hold back flames with fire hoses.    

Hundreds of multi-million dollar mansions in the Los Angeles celebrity enclave of Pacific Palisades are under threat from wildfires as stars including Sofia Richie have shared photos of the 40-acre blaze
Hundreds of multi-million dollar mansions in the Los Angeles celebrity enclave of Pacific Palisades are under threat from wildfires as stars including Sofia Richie have shared photos of the 40-acre blaze
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an emergency call at 10.40am to a brush fire around 500 North Palisades Dr
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an emergency call at 10.40am to a brush fire around 500 North Palisades Dr
Several Fire Department helicopters were fighting the blaze from the air with water drops
 Several Fire Department helicopters were fighting the blaze from the air with water drops
An hour into the firefight, the blaze grew in excess of 30 acres and was threatening homes along Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane, some of which are valued in excess of $4,000,000
An hour into the firefight, the blaze grew in excess of 30 acres and was threatening homes along Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane, some of which are valued in excess of $4,000,000
Before noon, fire crews had largely beat back a significant portion of the flames that were threatening homes

By 3pm local time the fire was estimated to have overtaken 40 acres.  

No structures have yet been damaged, an LAFD spokesperson said. A firefighter has been taken to UCLA Medical Center with heat exhaustion though no other injuries have been reported.

An evacuation of the area was ordered by the LAFD at 12.30pm, affecting at least 200 homes.

'There is a Mandatory Evacuation Order for all residents within the area bordered by Charmel Lane on the West, Bienveneda Avenue on the East, the end of Lachman Lane on the North, and Merivale Lane on the South,' the warning reads.

'All persons in this area are directed to leave NOW in a calm and orderly manner. This is due to both potential fire and smoke behavior as well as the pending arrival of large fixed-wind retardant dropping aircraft.'  

The blaze appeared to be spreading at an alarming rate late morning as around 300 personnel from LAFD and the LA County Fire Department worked to tackle it.

Before noon, fire crews had beaten back a significant portion of the flames that were threatening homes.  

'This is an extremely challenging fire for hand crews,' LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler told the LA Times. 'They’re essentially clawing their way up this hillside with rocks doming down on them.'

Several Fire Department helicopters were fighting the blaze from the air with water drops. 

An evacuation of the area was ordered by the LAFD at 12.30pm local time, affecting at least 200 homes
An evacuation of the area was ordered by the LAFD at 12.30pm local time, affecting at least 200 homes. The blaze grew at an alarming rate late morning as around 300 personnel from LAFD and the LA County Fire Department worked to tackle it
Firetrucks are seen parked on a palm-tree lined street in the Pacific Palisades
Firetrucks are seen parked on a palm-tree lined street in the Pacific Palisades 
The fire burned across steep hillside terrain as fire crews waited to confront it when it reached roadways
The fire burned across steep hillside terrain as fire crews waited to confront it when it reached roadways

A large plume of thick smoke towered above the fire and was visible from miles away. 

Sofia Richie uploaded a picture of the smoke column to her Instagram story, showing the grey smog billowing over a hillside with the caption: 'Oh no!'

Actress and singer Cassie Ventura also snapped a picture of the smoke blanketing the sky above the Palisades shoreline.

Burning on steep hillside terrain, fire officials voiced relief that winds were not more significant on Monday, which could have otherwise accelerated the flames. 

In addition to lack of winds, firefighters were also aided by residents being compliant with brush clearance regulations in place in the area, Humphrey added.

Several Fire Department helicopters were fighting the blaze from the air with water drops
Several Fire Department helicopters were fighting the blaze from the air with water drops 
A large plume of thick smoke towered above the fire and was visible from miles away
A large plume of thick smoke towered above the fire and was visible from miles away
Sofia Richie uploaded a picture of the smoke column to her Instagram story, captioned 'Oh no', showing the grey smog peering over a hillside
Sofia Richie uploaded a picture of the smoke column to her Instagram story, captioned 'Oh no', showing the grey smog peering over a hillside (left). Actress and singer Cassie Ventura also snapped a picture of the smoke blanketing the sky above the Palisades shoreline (right)

'This neighborhood … embraces our brush clearance policy,' he told KTLA. 'Back in May we inspected this neighborhood and found excellent compliance.'  

In Pacific Palisades, the requirement calls for at least 200 feet of brush clearance from the property, the strictest in the state. 

Helicopter images captured by KTLA showed one family running away from the fire as the blaze engulfed a tree in their backyard. 

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. 

A public evacuation center has been opened by the LAFD at Pacific Palisades Recreation Center 861 Alma Real Drive Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


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