Palisades Fire grows to 750 acres, prompts evacuations in Topanga area

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Alongside water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, more than 110 firefighters continued to battle a brush fire in Pacific Palisades that has now scorched 750 acres and has prompted area evacuations on Saturday. 

The blaze, dubbed the Palisades Fire, was first reported around 10 p.m. on Friday in a remote area of the Santa Monica Mountains off Michael Lane and Palisades Court, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert.

About 60 LAFD firefighters were initially assigned to the incident, and they were getting help from the L.A. County Fire Department.

The battle continued overnight, but by 4 p.m. Saturday, the fire grew to 100 acres and firefighters were dealing with a significant flare-up, which created a large plume of smoke visible from miles away, according to LAFD.

By 6p.m., the blaze grew to about 200 acres, and within an hour, the city Fire Department said it was at least 750 acres with zero containment. Mandatory evacuations in the nearby areas have since been announced.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory through Sunday due to the fire.

The L.A. County Fire Department issued mandatory evacuations for the area east of Topanga Canyon between the Topanga Community House, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., and Viewridge Road. The area north of Entrada Road, south of Oakwood Drive and east of Henry Ridge Motorway is also under a mandatory evacuation order.

At about 7:30 p.m., the Lost Hills sheriff’s station tweeted a list of streets under evacuation orders.

Meanwhile, California Highway Patrol announced a hard closure of Topanga Canyon from Pacific Coast Highway to Mulholland Highway. That means residents in the area can’t even access the area.

By 6:45 p.m., fire officials said the blaze was “burning at moderate rate due to the onshore winds” and that dozers are being used to improve access for firefighters on the ground.

With the blaze burning in terrain that is “very steep and extremely difficult to navigate,” the bulk of the firefighting is being done by air, according to LAFD.

State Park officials are also starting to close down trails in the area “because it is unsafe for hikers but can not clear everyone due to the vast area involved.”

Fire officials said the fire crossed a control line and grew but no injuries have been reported and there were no reports of structures threatened.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau said they are in search of an arson suspect setting fires.

Pierce College in Woodland Hills has been chosen as a designated area for large animal evacuations, and small animals can be taken to Agoura Hills L.A. County Animal Shelter, according to the LASD Lost Hills station.

Those who have been evacuated and need help can contact the Red Cross virtual evacuation line at 323-374-3525.

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