Propane Tanks at Homeless Encampment Explode During Brush Fire in Sepulveda Basin Area: LAFD

Data pix.

Propane tanks exploded during a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin area Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Fire crews drop water on a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin area. (Credit: KTLA)

Fire crews drop water on a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin area. (Credit: KTLA)

The blaze began in an open field near the intersection of Victory Balboa boulevards in the Encino area about 3:30 p.m., and scorched less than 5 acres, according to preliminary reports from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The Orange Line was closed in both directions between White Oak and Woodley avenues and buses were being detoured.

Crews were responding on the ground and in the air as the blaze scorched the ground and trees.

Thick black smoke could be seen for miles after the blaze began, aerial video from Sky5 showed.

Homes and a high school surround the Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex and Balboa Park near where the fire was burning, but no structures were threatened.

Firefighters respond to a homeless encampment during a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin on July 30, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Firefighters respond to a homeless encampment during a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin on July 30, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

It is unclear how the fire started, but propane tanks at a homeless encampment in the area exploded during the blaze, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey told KTLA. Homeless people living in the area were asked to evacuate and they complied, Humphrey said.

An alert from the LAFD indicated that about 100 people were in the area when the fire started, but no one was injured or unaccounted for.

In a tweet, Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city was securing shelter for those who had been living in the basin and were forced out by the blaze.

"These dangers are one reason why we are accelerating our work to bring our homeless neighbors indoors," the mayor wrote.

As firefighters eventually got a handle on the blaze and were working to keep embers carried by westerly winds away from trees in the area.

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