PACIFIC PALISADES—A brush fire that started out small, has consumed over 40 acres and forced evacuations in Pacific Palisades on Monday, October 21.
At 10:39 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department reported a brush fire on the 500 block of N. Palisades Drive. Both the LAFD and LACoFD Ground and Air Response responded to a terrain driven one acre brush fire running uphill and possibly threatening homes nearby. By 11:30 a.m., one acre turned to 30 acres burning and possibly heading to the homes down Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane.
At 12:37 p.m. a mandatory evacuation was ordered by the LAFD for residents living within areas bordered by Charmel Lane on the west, Bienveneda Avenue on the east, the end of Lachman Lane on the north, and Merivale Lane on the south. Officials took precaution as fire and smoke could be a risk, as well as the air drop scheduled to fight the flames.
Patrick Butler, the Incident Commander for the Pacific Palisades Fire, was available to the media and stated that there were various fire agencies helping to battle the blaze. Butler stressed the strenuous work that firefighters were undergoing to battle the flames, since fire crews were climbing uphill with heavy equipment on their bodies while rocks were falling on them.
As of 3:30 p.m., 40 acres were consumed by the Palisades Fire and Butler stated the concern was the probability of ignition, which could occur if the winds change in the next 48 hours. Firefighters are expected to be at the location all night.
Two injuries have been reported as a result of the blaze. A firefighter fighting the flame suffered unknown minor injuries and an unknown civilian suffered respiratory distress; his condition is unknown.
A total of 200 homes were placed under evacuation orders and the Palisades Recreation Center was opened as an evacuation center at 851 Alma Real Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.
At approximately 6 p.m. residents with proper identification living off of Palisades Drive in Palisades Highlands were allowed back to their homes with a police escort. Residents were advised that only one lane at Palisades Drive would be open.
At 8:17 p.m., all evacuation orders were lifted and for the Palisades Fire and residents were allowed to return home, but were advised to be cautious and prepared to leave their homes if needed, depending on weather conditions and the possibility of a new fire developing in the next few days.
As of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 22, the Palisades Fire remained at 40 acres and was 10 percent contained. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but arson investigators are on scene. The LAFD tweeted, ” First Responders worked tirelessly to get evacuated residents promptly back into their homes *within the same day*.”