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Palisades fire grows to 835 acres; 1,000 people under mandatory evacuation

About 1,000 people remained under mandatory evacuation Sunday morning as firefighters battled the suspicious Palisades fire, now at 835 acres with zero containment.

Helicopters are continuing to conduct water-dropping operations while firefighters are on the ground in the difficult terrain.

No injuries or damages to homes have been reported.

“The weather remained cool and moist overnight, which led to calmer fire activity,”  an update from the Los Angeles Fire Department stated. “However, as it warms up today, the conditions are expected to change as the vegetation in this area is very dry and has not burned in 50+ years.

Onshore winds are expected to pick up Sunday afternoon and move the fire in a northwest direction; firefighters are in place for any structural defense required, the department said.

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Residents first reported seeing flames Friday evening around 10 p.m. near 1807 North Michael Lane in Pacific Palisades. As weather conditions were favorable — high amounts of moisture in the air and low winds — the fire crawled overnight, charring 15 acres, authorities said.

However, by late Saturday afternoon, onshore winds, gusting from 15 to 25 mph ignited a flare-up, pushing the fire forward, growing to 100 acres around 5 p.m. and then 750 acres with no containment two hours later.

See also: Evacuations ordered in Topanga as Palisades fire burns more than 750 acres

The fire burned along very steep slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains, and in an area with no clear fire roads, making access for fire ground crews difficult and dangerous, Los Angeles city fire said. Officials have relied largely on fire helicopters and tankers to keep flames from spread.

“We can’t get our lines around it like like most brush fires,” said Margaret Stewart, a city fire spokesperson.

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The fire department estimated 1,000 people were evacuated. The evacuations were ordered in two areas in the county of Los Angeles – Zone 4 and Zone 6 – but not in the city, according to LAFD officials.

Zone 4 is everyone east of Topanga Canyon Boulevard between the Community House and View Ridge Road, and Zone 6 is everyone north of Entrada, south of Oakwood Drive and east of the Henry Ridge Motorway.

Large animals can be taken to Pierce College Equestrian Center, at 6201 Winnetka Ave. in Woodland Hills. Small animals can be taken to the Agoura Animal Care Center, 29525 Agoura Hills Road in Agoura.

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continues to search for a person suspected of setting the brush fire, said Deputy Alejandra Parra.

“Members of the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau were searching for a person Saturday suspected of setting a brush fire that has now scorched about 750 acres and was flaring up in Pacific Palisades,” Parra told NBC4.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory Saturday night and advised those who smell smoke or see ash to limit exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or seeking alternate shelter, and to avoid vigorous physical activity.

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Source: Orange County Register

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