As most of us in our area are aware this morning, fire season is in full swing in Southern California, and there are currently five fires burning out of control within close proximity to Los Angeles. This includes the “Skirball Fire,” which started early this morning in Bel Air, caused rush-hour shutdowns of the 405 freeway, and has already burned several homes. As of this morning, that blaze covered more than 150 acres and was still 0% contained. Luckily, LAFD is currently reporting that wind conditions are favorable for fighting the blaze at the moment, but dangerous high wind conditions could return at any time through Friday, putting many more area homes and other structures at risk, and residents on notice for possible evacuation.
In addition to the physical danger for nearby residents, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory for much of Los Angeles, saying air quality “may reach Unhealthy levels or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke,” at least through at least Thursday morning:
“In any area impacted by smoke: Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, pregnant women, older adults, and children should remain indoors. Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter. Run your air conditioner if you have one and keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. Avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. To avoid worsening the health effects of smoke, don’t use indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.”
Areas on to the west of Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, have been particularly affected by the smoke, and schools are closed today in Santa Monica and Malibu, as well as in some parts of western Los Angeles. (See http://home.lausd.net/apps/spotlightmessages/1251 for a list of up-to-date school closures.)
The City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department posted a message on Nextdoor.com they are providing online updates on evacuation orders Sylmar and Sunland-Tujunga (Creek Fire) and the Bel Air area (Skirball Fire).
Updates related to these fires and evacuation details can be found at http://emergency.lacity.org/
CREEK FIRE: http://emergency.lacity.org/creek-fire
SKIRBALL FIRE: http://emergency.lacity.org/skirball-fire
The City advises residents to follow any evacuation orders issued for your area. If you are near an evacuation area, remember READY, SET, GO. For more information on getting ready for evacuation and READY, SET, GO, visit http://www.lafd.org/safety/education/ready-set-go
At this time the City does not currently need donations of goods or food for either fire, but will update residents if that changes.
In the meantime, everyone is reminded to call 911 for emergency assistance. Call LA City 3-1-1 to report issues like downed trees due to strong winds.
Skirball fire map:
This Fire Map shows where fires are currently burning in California – you can zoom in to see the active fires in our area.