Evacuations ordered in Bel Air as wildfire burns near the 405 freeway

Kelvin Reese
December 7, 2017

By 6:20 a.m. local time, the fast-moving brush fire, fueled by 25 miles per hour winds, was burning about 50 acres in western Los Angeles, prompting residents of several posh neighborhoods to evacuate their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The Bel-Air fire took out a lot of homes, and it's in the same area as back then". Mandatory evacuation for area East of the 405 Fwy, South of Mulholland Dr., West of Roscomare Rd. The media mogul purchased the estate in 2013 for $28.8 million, according to Bloomberg.

The fire is occurring while fighters across Southern California are battling a blaze in Ventura County. The blaze prompted the evacuations of 27,000 people and was zero percent contained Wednesday morning.

"The prospects for containment are not good", Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference Tuesday.

Police were forced to shut down nine miles of the Interstate 405 freeway, one of the busiest in the United States, early on Wednesday morning. Those who've evacuated will not be allowed to return home, police said.

ABC 7 reported 350 firefighters from 52 engine companies were stationed at the scene, supported by helicopters making water drops and six fixed-wing aircrafts.

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Mauricio Umansky, CEO of luxury real estate brokerage The Agency, was monitoring the situation from the safety of his home in Encino, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, where he and his family recently moved.

As homes are destroyed or damaged in the area, there will likely be an uptick in lease and rental demand, said Umansky, though the rental vacancy rate in Bel-Air and Brentwood area is very low. Other structures were spotted burning on nearby Via Santa Barbara.

More than a dozen shelters have been set up to help evacuated residents.

Some 105 patients were being voluntarily evacuated from Mountain View Convalescent Center on Fenton Ave in Sylmar, said LAFD, noting that they had no reported injuries from any civilians. At most shelters, pets are allowed to stay with their owner or owners.

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