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Sepulveda brush fire: Crews monitor area overnight

September 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fast-moving brush fire erupted in the Sepulveda Pass near the 405 Freeway at Getty Center Drive on Friday.

Authorities say the fire broke out at 3:36 p.m. and moved quickly uphill. About 70 acres have burned so far, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. There were about 300 firefighters on scene in a multi-agency effort, and two Super Scoopers from Canada also joined the fire fight.

The fire was 40 percent contained by Friday night. Fire officials say it may be Sunday morning before they get full containment on the blaze. Meanwhile, Sepulveda Boulevard near the Getty Center remained shut down through the night.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away.

Sepulveda Boulevard was shut down in both directions. The 405 Freeway remained open, but traffic was backed up due to drivers slowing down to look at the fire. The northbound off-ramp to Getty Center Drive was closed.

The Getty Center closed voluntarily for the day due to the blaze and smoke. No evacuations were ordered.

"We're just concerned because if they do end up evacuating us, we don't have that many options to get back down the hill," said Rebecca Ebiza of Bel Air.

Ebiza said she was packing her bags in case of a mandatory evacuation. She said there was no brush clearance around her home.

Another smaller fire was seen burning nearby in the area of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive, and a third small fire was seen along Mulholland Drive. Officials say that fire was caused by a blown transformer and was knocked out within 20 minutes.

A cause has not been determined for the larger fire in the Sepulveda Pass. Friday saw record-breaking temperatures across the Southland, and no relief from the heat was expected on Saturday.

The last time the area saw a major fire was in 1961, when flames burned east of the freeway and into Bel Air.

"That speaks volumes of how far we've come as a fire department," Moore said. "Not only working amongst ourselves, but with other agencies, and the advancements in our ability to fight fire."


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