Skirball Fire in Bel-Air Area 20 Percent Contained With No Growth Overnight: LAFD

Structures were still under threat Thursday, the fire department said. Evacuation was mandatory for those in the area from the 405 Freeway to Mulholland Drive, north of Sunset Boulevard and west of Roscomare Road. “We are very, very proud of that new technology,” he said. No residents were injured, but one firefighter who was among the first to respond suffered burns around his neck, according to L.A. Pets may shelter with the owner at all locations. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
But winds as high as 70 mph, combined with heat and dry vegetation, were still fostering dangerous fire conditions, Garcetti said. Firefighters seemed to be gaining the upper hand on the Skirball fire burning in the hills near the Getty Center with containment growing to 20 percent Thursday morning. About 600 Los Angeles police were stationed in the area to safeguard homes and bar entry, including to residents. The following shelters are accepting evacuees and have sleeping cots. An update to evacuation orders was expected to come sometime after 3 p.m., officials said. Much of the containment achieved Thursday was along Sepulveda Boulevard and the east side of the 405 Freeway as crews worked to ensure embers didn’t spread across the roadway into the Brentwood area, the mayor said. The fire broke out early Wednesday morning near the 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Los Angeles City firefighters Florin Sarbu, left, Dan Smithers and Robert Caropino monitor the Skirball fire from the backyard of a home on Casiano Road. Firefighters were contending mostly with hotspots rather than large flames but many hotspots sat directly next to homes with strong winds persisting and not expected to let up until Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a Thursday news conference. The freeway fully was reopened, though three exits through the area remained closed. The blaze so far has destroyed four structures and damaged 12 more. Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center: 818-783-5121
14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks
Balboa Recreation Center:  818-756-9642
17015 Burbank Blvd., Encino
Delano Recreation Center: 818-756-8529
15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys
Westwood Recreation Center: 310-473-3610
1350 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles
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Terrazas announced LAFD was launching its drones for the first time ever to assess property damage and patrol hotspots. To those who may be remaining in mandatory evacuation areas, L.A. The flames spread across 475 acres Wednesday, and hadn’t spread farther by Thursday. On Wednesday night, authorities said the fire was at 450 acres but returned Thursday to a figure released Wednesday afternoon: 475 acres. Those living west of the 405 Freeway as far as Mandeville Canyon, also between Mulholland Drive and Sunset Boulevard, were under an evacuation advisory. Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas
Around 2,200 residents remained evacuated and several schools were closed, including UCLA, although the university’s medical facilities remained open. Information about schools closures within the Los Angeles Unified School District can be found here.