Fast-moving brush fire threatens Pacific Palisades homes

Last Updated Oct 21, 2019 7:27 PM EDT

Los Angeles — An explosive fire is threatening multimillion-dollar homes in Pacific Palisades. The wind-whipped fire is chewing through dry brush on rugged hillsides, making it difficult to contain.

Garden hoses were no match for the fire and at least 200 residents scrambled to evacuate. It seemed all but inevitable that some of the houses would be consumed.

A massive assault from the sky and on the ground stopped the fire at the last possible moment. Railings melted as firefighters kept flames at bay.

Fire officials said flames moved up the hills at a rate of almost an acre a minute because of the bone-dry vegetation. Even after the imminent danger passed, firefighters were taking no chances, lining the steep hills, preventing flare-ups.

A fast-moving fire threatens homes in Pacific Palisades, California. KCBS

“They’re essentially clawing their way up this hillside with rocks coming down on them,” said Incident Commander Patrick Butler.

The hills look out at the Pacific and homes are among southern California’s most exclusive. The danger of wildfire can be extreme and residents are breathing a sigh of relief. Homes are still standing after a fire that could have been catastrophic.

“They will not sleep, they will not rest until they get this fire out,” said Butler.

The fire threat isn’t over yet. The forecast calls for even stronger Santa Ana winds later this week.

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