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Palisades Brush Fire Prompts Evacuation Order of 500 Homes


A brush fire in California, which sent smoky plumes into the sky above Los Angeles County as it continued to burn on Sunday, has forced the evacuation of more than 500 homes, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The blaze, named the Palisades fire, started on Saturday. It had burned 750 acres in western Los Angeles County and was at zero percent containment on Saturday evening, the Fire Department said. By Sunday, the fire had spread to 1,325 acres and was still at zero percent containment, the department said.

Evacuation orders in three areas remained in place early Monday.

The cause of the fire was “deemed to be a ‘suspicious start’ and it remains an open, active investigation,” the department said. One person was detained and released, and another was being questioned Sunday night, the Fire Department said.

There were no reports of injuries or damaged structures.

Large animals were offered shelter at the Los Angeles Pierce College Equine Science Center in Woodland Hills, and small animals were able to go to the Agoura Animal Care Center in Agoura, Los Angeles Animal Care and Control said.

On Sunday night, Albert Ward, an operations chief for the Fire Department, said firefighters had succeeded at holding the fire from crossing a road on its western side.

“Today we were pretty lucky because we had moderated weather, which gave us an opportunity to make good headway on the fire,” he said.

Firefighters were on the ground “in the difficult terrain” working to dig lines in the ground to stop the spread of the fire, and helicopters were dropping water, the department said. An earlier statement described the terrain as “very steep and extremely difficult to navigate, which hinders ground-based firefighting operations.”

The mandatory evacuation order covered about 500 homes and affected about 1,000 people, said Capt. Erik Scott, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the air pollution control agency for the area, issued a smoke advisory through Sunday afternoon for portions of central Los Angeles, Northwest coastal Los Angeles County, the western San Fernando Valley and the eastern San Fernando Valley.

The agency said that winds near the fire were expected to push smoke east into Topanga State Park through Sunday afternoon, and that “meteorological conditions will bring smoke and ash into portions of Los Angeles County with localized impacts near the Palisades Fire.”

Daniel Victor contributed reporting.

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