Terror has struck the Bel Air area of Los Angeles, California today in the form of yet another wildfire.
CBS 2 in Los Angeles reports that the new wildfire plaguing the densely populated area marks the fourth that firefighters are currently trying to tame in southern California.
Its fallout so far has included mandatory evacuations, a shutdown of the high-traffic Interstate 405, and even loss of power to the western part of the city:
The 150-acre Skirball Fire started across the freeway from Skirball Center Drive, an area located near homes and across the freeway from the famous Getty Museum and the Skirball Cultural Center.
Hundreds of firefighters battled flames on the ground as aircraft dropped water and retardant near neighborhoods on the east side of the pass.
The entire Sepulveda Pass, both north and southbound lanes of the 405 Freeway, was shut down just as the morning commute was gearing up between the 101 and the 10 Freeway. The pass is one of the most heavily-trafficked in the nation and is the same stretch of freeway shut down during Carmageddon. It later reopened just before 9 a.m.
A power outage linked to the fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. across a swath of West Los Angeles as LADWP officials warned it could take as many as 14 hours to restore power.
The fire has had widespread ramifications, including UCLA resorting to internal power for only essential buildings, the closing of all Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools, and the closing of the Getty Museum, the Skirball Cultural Center, and the Bel Air Country Club.
Not all residents are willing to leave their homes, though:
When firefighters told Maurice Kaboud to evacuate his home in Bel Air he decided to stay and protect his home. The 59-year-old stood in the backyard of his multimillion-dollar home as fires raged nearby.
“God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job,” Kaboud said.
Another homeowner said he came back to protect his house, which he just remodeled.
Here’s praying that the crisis is resolved as soon as possible, and for the safety of every civilian and fire/rescue worker in harm’s way.