Brush fire threatens homes in Pacific Palisades area of LA

Reed Saxon  AP

Reed Saxon AP

A wildfire raced up a steep hillside to threaten scores of homes in the Los Angeles coastal enclave of Pacific Palisades on Monday, prompting evacuations as water-dropping helicopters and firefighters swarmed the area to battle the flames.

Wildfires are burning dangerously close to homes in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, in California, with residents forced to flee the blaze.

"This could be one of our most critical weeks of the fall season for fire weather due to very warm temperatures and bouts of Santa Ana winds", the National Weather Service said in a statement.

The fire started just after 10:30 a.m. PST and quickly moved uphill, LAFD said. Six hand crews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department were assisting the LAFD and plan to be in Palisades all night, Butler said. Fifty LA police personnel were on scene helping residents shelter in place, police officials said.

Large, repeated water drops from helicopters kept the fire from advancing into a neighbourhood closest to the flames, and the fire appeared to have been largely subdued within an hour, with no injuries or serious property damage reported.

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"Right now, the conditions are favorable for fighting this fire", said Capt. Branden Silverman of the LAFD.

Air quality/health: The Los Angeles Fire Department has urged people in the evacuation zones to leave in part because of "potential fire and smoke behavior as well as the pending arrival of large fixed-wing retardant-dropping aircraft". "If you look at the firefighters, they're essentially clawing up this hillside with rocks coming down on them".

Weireter said firefighters were concerned about the forecast for high winds later this week.

A huge plume of smoke was visible across the city.

A cause of the fire has not been determined. "We're in a bad cycle right now". "You can't predict what Mother Nature is going to do".

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