A brush fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area above Sylmar, charred almost 11,400, destroyed about 30 homes and prompted the evacuation of more than 100,000 people from their homes, raged on for a second day Wednesday even though air crews made overnight water drops in a bid to douse the flames.
The 50-acre brush fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, broke out just before 5 a.m. Wednesday near where Interstate 405 intersects with Mulholland Drive in Bel-Air.
It prompted the 405 Freeway to close in both directions between 101 and 10. The fire has charred about 11,000 acres, burning structures and prompting mandatory evacuations.
Los Angeles County Fire Department officials confirmed the three-alarm fire, which was burning at least 2,500 acres as sustained winds were at 35 miles per hour. Mass evacuations were underway in the canyon areas.
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As the fire expanded and jumped south of the 210 Freeway, so did the mandatory evacuation area. As of 5:40 a.m., zero percent of the blaze has been contained. A second center is available to evacuees at the Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick Street.
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Some 105 patients were being voluntarily evacuated from Mountain View Convalescent Center on Fenton Ave in Sylmar, said LAFD, noting that they had no reported injuries from any civilians.
For small animals, shelters were in place at West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St., and the East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St. And the Los Angeles Unified School District said the student bodies of Hubbard and Harding schools in Sylmar would be redirected to San Fernando High School at 11133 O'Melveny Ave.in San Fernando.
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About 125 firefighters and two helicopters were at the scene battling the blaze, Stewart said.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck warned that given the Santa Ana winds that are expected to continue through the week, fire and law enforcement officials will be stretched to the limit.
Standing in front of 80-year-old mom's house and waiting it out, despite the evacuation, Marcus Pappas, who works in medical device sales, was on hand to organize mom's stuff, and stay on patrol, until the last minute.
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