The Skirball fire began as a brush fire that erupted overnight and quickly spread, creating an alarming spectacle for pre-dawn commuters on the hillsides east of Interstate 405 before the California Highway Patrol closed the heavily traveled freeway. The owner had been ordered to evacuate at 5 a.m. this morning with homes in the 1300 address range reportedly on fire.
Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch's estate- which is one of the most expensive in the Los Angeles city limits- has also been evacuated.
At least two homes were ablaze Wednesday morning.
Residents living south of Mulholland, east of the 405, north of Sunset Boulevard, and west of Roscomare Road were told to leave their homes.
The biggest and most destructive of several wildfires burning in Southern California has scorched more than 101 square miles.
UPDATE: (7:10 a.m.) According to Los Angeles Mayor: 405 is closed in the Sepulveda Pass due to #SkirballFire east of the freeway.
Fire Department spokesman Margaret Stewart says the fire was reported at 4:52 a.m. Wednesday and is burning uphill, driven by topography rather than winds. One firefighter was hospitalized after a bulldozer rolled over in the Sunland- Tujunga area, but the injury was not considered to be life- threatening. However, local electrical utilities were dealing with continuing fire- and wind-caused outages.
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.
Garcetti had signed an emergency declaration on Tuesday for the Creek Fire, 25 miles to the north, that continued to burn out of control, now having consumed more than 11,000 acres and numerous structures.
Thomas was the largest of a number of wildfires that broke out across Southern California following the onset of the Santa Ana winds.
The house, featured recently in Los Angeles Magazine, was in "immediate danger" he said.
A viral tweet from a local investment professional showed hills of flame as far as the eye could see, a scene more overwhelming and fearsome than any disaster film out of nearby Hollywood.