Covering the fight against California's wildfires

Crews Knock Down Brush Fire on Pacific Coast Highway

Traffic along the PCH backed up during rush hour as crews battled the blaze

By Christina Cocca
|  Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014  |  Updated 6:41 AM PDT
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Helicopter water drops helped firefighters knock down a wildfire that burned near mansions and snarled traffic along Pacific Coast Highway. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.

Helicopter water drops helped firefighters knock down a wildfire that burned near mansions and snarled traffic along Pacific Coast Highway. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.

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Firefighters knocked down a 10-acre brush fire that burned along Pacific Coast Highway near Santa Monica Tuesday afternoon, which snarled traffic during rush hour.

The fire was reported near the 14800 block of PCH about 3:08 p.m. and was burning near homes, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Spokesman Brian Humphrey.

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More than 160 firefighters battled the blaze, which reached 10 acres and was knocked down about 5 p.m. with the help of helicopter water drops.

"Planes were coming up over the wall," resident Brooke Klein told NBC4. "A big airplane was scooping water from the ocean and spreading it all over the hillside."

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Aerial video showed black smoke billowing above PCH as flames crept down the hillside toward the roadway. NBC4 viewers said via Twitter they could see the smoke from as far as Pasadena.

"If it wasn’t for the tireless efforts of the Los Angeles Fire Department, we could have very easily lost our house and our neighbors," resident Tom Giovine said.

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Crews were starting to reopen some of the PCH lanes between Chautauqua Boulevard and Temescal Canyon Road Tuesday night.

No injuries or evacuations were reported, and the cause of the fire was under investigation, officials said.

NBC4's Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

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