Skirball Fire forces closure of the 405 in Los Angeles

Wildfires make for a smokey morning on Venice beach

The Associated Press reports a new blaze erupted near Los Angeles in the Ventura, Calif., area early Wednesday.

Residents living south of Mulholland, east of the 405, north of Sunset Boulevard, and west of Roscomare Road were told to leave their homes. It's unclear if the fire is burning the vineyard or the house as well. The fire department also noted that residents of Mandeville Canyon and Sullivan Canyon should be prepared for evacuation, per the Los Angeles Times.

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.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said they're trying to "stop this fire before it becomes something bigger" like the Bel Air fire of 1961. Two firefighting helicopters have been assigned. "But Cal Fire suspects the true number is hundreds more; firefighters just haven't been able to get into areas to know for sure".

A home on Casiano Road burns Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in the Skirball fire. 220 Firefighters on scene. The blaze reached 11,000 acres by early afternoon, according to the LACFD.

The multiple wildfires in Southern California were spreading so fast in part due to what officials called the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season. Before the freeway closing, a morning commuter captured terrifying footage of fire surrounding the freeway.

Large animals were ordered to evacuate at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, Pierce College and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

The new blaze shut down the 405 Freeway between the 101 and 10 freeways. These closures are causing massive gridlock in what is already one of the city's most congested intersections. The California Highway Patrol said the freeway has reopened, but some off-ramps remains closed.

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