A brush fire in California, which sent smoky plumes into the sky above Los Angeles County as it continued to burn on Sunday, has forced the evacuation of more than 500 homes, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
The blaze, named the Palisades fire, started on Saturday. It had burned 750 acres in western Los Angeles County and was at zero percent containment on Saturday evening, the Fire Department said. By Sunday, the fire had spread to 835 acres and was still at zero percent containment, the department said. The evacuation orders remained in place.
The cause of the fire was “deemed to be a ‘suspicious start’ and it remains an open, active investigation,” the department said. There were no reports of injuries or damaged structures.
Los Angeles Animal Care and Control said.
department said in a statement that “cool and moist” overnight weather led to “calmer fire activity,” but that as it warmed up on Sunday, conditions were expected to worsen as “the vegetation in this area is very dry and has not burned in 50+ years.”
Onshore winds, which could push the fire northwest, were expected to increase on Sunday afternoon and “resources are in place for any structural defense required,” the department said.
Firefighters were on the ground “in the difficult terrain” working to dig lines in the ground to stop the spread of the fire, and helicopters were dropping water, the department said. An earlier statement described the terrain as “very steep and extremely difficult to navigate, which hinders ground-based firefighting operations.”
The mandatory evacuation order covered about 500 homes and affected about 1,000 people, said Capt. Erik Scott, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.