LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A wildfire that destroyed homes in the Sepulveda Pass and Bel-Air was about 20 percent contained Thursday.
The Skirball Fire has burned at least 475 acres and is 20 percent contained after the blaze broke out early Wednesday morning and destroyed at least four homes and damaged 12 others in short order.
A firefighter suffered neck burns and was treated at a hospital, authorities said.
Violent Santa Ana winds continued to hamper efforts as gusts hit up to 80 mph at their peak. The winds died down overnight, and that helped keep the fire from spreading, Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Armando Hogan said.
“In a wind-driven event, wind is king,” Hogan said.
Skirball Fire: Latest Closures And Evacuations
About 700 homes and an apartment building were evacuated. One elementary school was also evacuated, LAFD Deputy Chief Charles Butler said.
Hundreds of firefighters, six fixed-wing aircraft and a number of helicopters were deployed quickly to the fire, a departure from the firefights in Sylmar, Santa Clarita and Ventura, where gusty Santa Ana winds kept crews on the ground.
The California Highway Patrol lifted all traffic closures along I-405 in the Sepulveda Pass.
The Getty Center and the nearby Skirball Center, both on the west side of the freeway, did not appear to be threatened, though both will remain closed Thursday.
UCLA canceled classes Thursday, and Santa Monica College and all schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district were closed.
Fifty-two Los Angeles Unified School District schools and another 40 charter schools citywide will be closed amid smoky air through Friday in response to the Skirball Fire and other blazes in the area, a district official said.
Evacuation centers have been established at Delano Recreation Center, 15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys; Balboa RC, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys; Sherman Oaks RC, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks; and Westwood RC, 1350 Sepulveda Blvd., Westwood.
The fire was burning in the same general area as the devastating Bel Air Fire of 1961. That blaze destroyed about 500 homes and led to various policy changes, including a prohibition on wood-shingle roofs and the strict requirement to remove brush from around properties.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)