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 so-called Skirball Fire was reported shortly before 5 a.m. near Mulholland Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The Foothill (210) Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway on the west and the Glendale (2) Freeway and aren't expected to be reopened until at least later this morning.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for homes on Moraga Drive, Linda Flora Drive and Casiano Road down to Bellagio Road.
While the blaze in Sylmar began spreading rapidly, the 31,000-acre Thomas Fire scorched Ventura County, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee from their homes. One is fully contained, while the Little Mountain Fire is at 100 acres. Some area restaurants chose to remain open amid the fire and smoke-filled skies, while others closed shop for the day. The museum had already announced Tuesday that it would be closed today due to smoke from other area fires. 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.
"This fire is very risky and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got", Brown said.
More than 600 firefighters battled the blaze amid strong Santa Ana winds, some gusting at 70 miles per hour. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so".
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said they're trying to "stop this fire before it becomes something bigger" like the Bel Air fire of 1961.
A red-flag warning, which is for extreme weather conditions that could cause wildfires, is in effect until 8 p.m. PT Friday.
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