Pacific Palisades

Crews Continue Battling Pacific Palisades Fire, 1 Person in Custody

As of early Monday, no structures were damaged, and no injuries had been reported.

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An army of firefighters continued to battle a suspicious 1,325-acre brush fire in Pacific Palisades Monday as evacuation orders affecting about 1,000 people remained in effect.

There was zero containment of the Palisades Fire as of Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department and county fire.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that one person is in custody in connection with the fire during a briefing at 10 a.m. Monday.

Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas says the person detained in the Palisades brush fire was arrested at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and "we feel we have the right person," and was being treated at a hospital possibly for smoke inhalation. That person's name has not been released.

One firefighter suffered a minor eye injury, officials said.

As of early Monday, no structures were damaged or destroyed and no official evacuation orders have been issued for the city of Los Angeles, although an evacuation warning was issued on Sunday for all homes north of Chastain Parkway in the 1500 block to Calle Del Cielo.

LAFD arson investigators and Los Angeles police detained two people in connection with the fire. One was questioned and released Saturday night, and authorities were interviewing a second person on Sunday, according to a fire captain. The status of the arson investigation was not available early Monday.

A new evacuation warning was issued at 2 p.m. Sunday for all homes north of Chastain Parkway in the 1500 block to Calle Del Cielo. The warning area includes Calle De Sarah, Calle Bellevista and all homes west of Calle Del Cielo and Ave Ashley up to the hills.

Evacuations were ordered Saturday in two areas both in the county of Los Angeles, but not in the city, according to LA County Fire Department officials.

Zone 4 is everyone east of Topanga Canyon Boulevard between the Community House and View Ridge Road, and Zone 6 is everyone north of Entrada, south of Oakwood Drive and east of the Henry Ridge Motorway.

Large animals can be taken to Pierce College Equestrian Center, at 6201 Winnetka Ave. in Woodland Hills. Small animals can be taken to the Agoura Animal Care Center, 29525 Agoura Hills Road in Agoura.

Topanga Elementary Charter School, at 22075 Topanga School Road, will be temporarily closed beginning Monday due to air quality and safety concerns caused by the Palisades fire, the Los Angeles Unified School District reported.

Cool and damp weather has been helpful, but the terrain is rugged and hard to reach on foot, and the vegetation in the area is very dry and has not burned in more than 50 years, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart.

Resources were in place for any structural defense required, Stewart added.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department sent strike teams and camp crews to the fight and its helicopters made water drops until they were "timed out" Sunday night, according to Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.

The fire ignited in a remote area off Michael Lane and Palisades Court around 10 p.m. Friday, according to LAFD spokesman Nicholas Prange.

Meanwhile, air quality officials extended a smoke advisory through at least Monday due to large amounts of smoke billowing near homes in the area and advised those who smell smoke or see ash to limit exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed and avoiding vigorous physical activity.

Stewart said Saturday that there were three burn areas, "the main fire, the original fire … and a small spot fire." The terrain is very steep and extremely difficult to navigate, she said.

"Dozers are working to improve access for firefighters on the ground but much of the area remains inaccessible. This is primarily an air-based operation."

Los Angeles County fire officials reported that after the marine layer blew in, the visibility became too poor for fixed-wing aircraft, which had been productive. Helicopters continued to make water drops and the tankers previously succeeded at dropping retardant across the Topanga Fire Road to the south along the left flank.

"The state parks are closing trails in the area because it is unsafe for hikers but cannot clear everyone due to the vast area involved," Stewart said.

Topanga Canyon Boulevard was closed in both directions between Mulholland Drive and Pacific Coast Highway until further notice due to firefighting activity. The right lane of southbound PCH was also closed between Temescal Canyon Road and Chataqua Boulevard.

The threatened area of land to the west is within the State Responsibility Area, so the LA County Fire Department was involved in a unified command with the Los Angeles Fire Department and Cal Fire.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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