Skirball Fire: Some residents being allowed back into homes

ByAnabel Munoz, Amy Powell, and ABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Friday, December 8, 2017
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Streets reopened and some residents went back into their homes in the Bel Air area as firefighters continued to make significant progress on the Skirball Fire Thursday night.

BEL AIR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Streets reopened and some residents went back into their homes in the Bel Air area as firefighters continued to make significant progress on the Skirball Fire Thursday night.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the 475-acre fire was 20 percent contained, up from Wednesday's 5 percent containment.

Los Angeles police said as of 8 p.m., residents in portions of the Skirball Fire evacuation area were allowed to return home.

A cluster of cars formed at an LAPD road block as Bel Air residents waited to return home.

"We've been waiting in a hotel for the last night and now we're hoping to go back home," Victoria Steele said.

City officials confirmed some streets were open to residents only in Bel Terrace, Roscomare Road, all roads between Sunset Boulevard and Bellagio Road and North Casiano Road from Mulholland Drive.

Homeowners are asked to bring proof of residency if you are trying to access these areas.

RELATED: List of evacuations, school, road closures for Skirball Fire

Linda Flora, Moraga and Lower Casiano will remain closed.

The Skirball Fire was reported shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday near Mulholland Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The location is near the Skirball Cultural Center and the Getty Center.

The blaze prompted mandatory evacuation orders and the complete closure of the 405 Freeway at the scene, authorities said. All lanes of the 405 later reopened.

At least 700 homes in total had been evacuated. Fire officials said 4,600 people were affected by the fire.

At least four houses were destroyed near Moraga Drive, Casiano Road and Linda Flora Drive. Twelve others were damaged, officials said.

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The bedroom of a home is engulfed in flames from the Skirball fire along Linda Flora Drive on December 6, 2017 in Bel-Air, California. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Getty Center museum was expected to be back open on Friday.

Between 400 and 600 firefighters from 52 engine companies were engaging in the fire fight, supported by helicopters that were making water drops and two fixed-wing aircrafts, the mayor said. About 600 police officers were also on patrol to safeguard the homes and people in the area.

Garcetti said one firefighter received a burn injury to his neck but is expected to be OK. No other injuries were reported.

The mayor declared a local state of emergency in response to the Skirball Fire on Wednesday, as he had done Tuesday in connection with the massive Creek Fire near Sylmar and Lake View Terrace.

"Both Emergency Declarations direct relevant City departments to take all necessary steps to protect life and property in the area affected by the fires," Garcetti's office said in a statement. "(These) declarations also request that state and federal assistance be provided to the City quickly."

Meanwhile, other major wildfires were burning in other parts of the Southland, including the 96,000-acre Thomas fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire in the Santa Clarita area.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of California's wildfires," President Trump tweeted Wednesday. " I encourage everyone to heed the advice and orders of local and state officials. THANK YOU to all First Responders for your incredible work!"

The cause of the Skirball Fire was unknown.

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