ENTURA, Calif. (AP) – A brush fire has erupted on the east side of Los Angeles along Interstate 405 in Sepulveda Pass.
Fire Department spokesman Margaret Stewart says the fire was reported at 4:52 a.m. Wednesday and is burning uphill, driven by topography rather than winds.
Stewart says 47 firefighters are on the scene, setting up protection for homes at the top of the steep slopes. Two firefighting helicopters have been assigned.
Sepulveda Pass carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains between the western neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley to the north.
The same vicious winds that made three Southern California wildfires so destructive are also making the firefight itself more difficult.
The water-dropping planes and helicopters essential to fighting massive fires have been mostly grounded because it’s too dangerous to fly in the strong gusts.
Commanders hoped to have them back in the air on Wednesday morning, but all indications are the winds will be whipping then too.
The blazes brought evacuation orders for nearly 200,000 people, destroyed nearly 200 homes and have remained mostly out control.
The largest and most destructive of the blazes, an 85-square-mile wildfire in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, had nearly reached the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday night after starting 30 miles inland a day earlier.
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