Skirball Fire forces closure of the 405 in Los Angeles

Cheryl Sanders
December 8, 2017

Colossal flames, blinding smoke, and ash greeted commuters early Wednesday morning (Dec. 6), when a brush fire consumed the hills east of the 405 freeway, prompting mandatory evacuation orders and the complete closures of the popular roadway, according to ABC7. "You've got heavy, heavy brush, you've got the dryness - obviously, we haven't had any rain at all". Strong winds helped push the fire uphill, putting homes and residents in danger.

A risky new wildfire erupted in the tony Bel Air area of Los Angeles early Wednesday. The owner had been ordered to evacuate at 5 a.m. this morning with homes in the 1300 address range reportedly on fire. Some 50 acres had burned within a matter of just two hours as Los Angeles firefighters contend with wind gusts of up to 30 mph.

About 700 homes and an apartment building were evacuated Wednesday.

The Thomas Fire, the largest of the blazes, is burning through Ventura County towards Los Angeles and is now more than twice the size of Washington DC and showing few signs of slowing. Getty officials said both museums will reopen Friday.

The fire also caused the closing of the Los Angeles Eruv, which uses fences and phone lines affected by the fire to define the public area needed to allow Orthodox Jews to carry items outdoors on Shabbat, according to the Jewish Journal. The 405 Freeway in Bentwood has been closed as crews try to tend to the blaze. A full list of closed schools is available at Santa Monica-Malibu schools are all closed, in addition to most private schools in the area such as John Thomas Dye and Buckley.

Karen Misraje, a partner and branch manager with Partners' Trust, now part of Pacific Union International, and president of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors, said firefighters would be informed by the 1961 fire in Bel-Air. It was unclear if those campuses would reopen on Friday. Initial reports indicated four to six homes were destroyed.

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