Fire hits up­mar­ket LA sub­urbs

The Observer - - NEWS WORLD - – James Law and staff writer

FIRE has en­gulfed homes in one of the rich­est sub­urbs of Los An­ge­les, threat­en­ing mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar man­sions, shut­ting down a free­way and forc­ing thou­sands to flee.

The house and win­ery of Aussie me­dia mogul Ru­pert Mur­doch, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of News Corp, are among the prop­er­ties un­der threat in Bel Air, ac­cord­ing to NBC News.

The Skir­ball fire is the new­est of four blazes rag­ing in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Whipped up by fierce winds, they have caused more than 200,000 peo­ple to evac­u­ate to safety.

More than 1700 fire­fight­ers are bat­tling the big­gest of the in­fer­nos in Ven­tura County – about 45 min­utes’ drive from cen­tral LA – which threaten more than 12,000 homes across about 26,000 hectares.

More than 200 homes have been de­stroyed, in­clud­ing in the exclusive Bel Air area.

The Ven­tura fire forced the clos­ing of the ma­jor com­mut­ing route the I-405 San Diego Free­way and many smaller roads.

In­cred­i­ble footage posted on YouTube shows traf­fic headed in both di­rec­tions on the free­way with the sur­round­ing hills in the Sepul­veda Pass en­gulfed in flames.

The Getty Mu­seum and many other fa­cil­i­ties closed for the du­ra­tion.

LA mayor Eric Garcetti has de­clared a state of emer­gency.

There have been no re­ports of ca­su­al­ties.


HELP­LESS: A by­s­tander, pos­si­bly the home’s owner, can only watch as the build­ing is con­sumed by wild­fire in Ven­tura, Cal­i­for­nia.


APOC­A­LYP­TIC: Driv­ers brave one of the Los An­ge­les wild­fires.

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