Portola Fire in Beverly Crest Area ‘Still a Threat’ as Crews Work to Increase Containment

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A brush fire that broke out in the Beverly Crest area Tuesday is “still a threat” despite the lifting of mandatory evacuation orders, an official said Wednesday.

The blaze, dubbed the Portola Fire, was reported about 2 p.m. after likely being started by a contractor with a weed wacker at a residence in the 9800 block of Portola Drive, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said Tuesday.

The fire had burned about 40 acres, but that number was likely to increase as officials gathered further surveillance, Scott said. The blaze was 60 percent contained, the Fire Department tweeted at 1:34 p.m.

Despite firefighters seemingly gaining a handle on the fire, Scott said the “fire is still a threat" on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of hot spots. There’s a significant amount of acreage in this area close to homes that is smoldering,” he said.

David Danielson with LAFD said firefighters used drones to find hot spots in real time.

Despite mandatory evacuation orders being lifted Tuesday evening, non-residents were being asked to stay away from the area of Mulholland Drive between Deep Canyon Drive and Beverly Glen Boulevard, and Benedict Canyon Drive from Mulholland Drive down to Beverly Hills.

The fire department tweeted an update to announce the reopening of some roads to all traffic just before 11 a.m.

About 400 firefighters ended up responding to the incident Tuesday Scott said. That number was reduced overnight and many of the remaining firefighters would be relieved by fresh crews on Wednesday, he said.

Fire officials also planned to use drones to scout the fire’s perimeter and hot spots.

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