Palisades Fire 55 Percent Contained as Firefighters Prepare for Santa Ana Winds

3 first-responders injured, 8 structures damaged as fire at 45 acres

By Sam Catanzaro

After relentless work by firefighters, the Palisades Fire is at 55 percent containment as of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday but with Santa Ana winds expected to bring gusts up to 50 MPH the Los Angeles Fire Department is advising residents to be prepared to evacuate.

The Palisades Fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 21. The fire’s initial location was corrected by the LAFD Tuesday to 800 N Palisades Drive from 500 N Palisades Drive.

As of Wednesday night, the structures previously threatened and evacuated remains at 628, while structures with damage is reported at eight, according to the LAPD. There has been no loss of human life or structures destroyed by this blaze. 

“Due to firefighter’s relentless work over the past three days, containment of the fire perimeter was increased from 30% to 55%. Hand Crews from multiple agencies including LAFD Crew 3, USFS [US Forest Service] and LACoFD performed the treacherous work of hiking the cliff-like, rocky terrain to strengthen containment lines. Firefighters will remain on scene overnight, surrounding the 45 acre burn footprint, to ensure remaining hot spots do not spread outside our containment lines,” said Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) public information officer Brian Humphrey.

Photo: Sam Catanzaro

At 8 p.m. Monday, all evacuation orders were lifted from the Palisades Fire but the LAFD is advising residents who return home to be on alert.

The Santa Ana wind event expected early Thursday morning through Friday afternoon is anticipated to bring wind gusts 35-50 MPH. This wind, along with increased temperatures, brings critically low relative humidity to the vegetation that likely has not last burned since 1938.

“For those of living near current wildfire incidents, be vigilant and keep your TV or radio on. Make certain you have your family critical papers, phone data, pets and other valuables ready to evacuate if so directed.”

Brian Humphrey, LAFD Public Information Officer

“The Los Angeles Fire Department encourages you to be prepared in the event of a brush fire. For those of living near current wildfire incidents, be vigilant and keep your TV or radio on. Make certain you have your family critical papers, phone data, pets and other valuables ready to evacuate if so directed,” Humphrey said.

According to Humphrey, three firefighters have been injured fighting the blaze. On Wednesday, two firefighters were taken to the hospital after being struck by falling rocks. One civilian was taken to the hospital Monday with a respiratory issue.

628 structures have been previously threatened and evacuated. 247 total personnel are assigned to the fire across a range of agencies.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), CAL FIRE, Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), L.A. Emergency Management Department (EMD), L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP), L.A. Department of Water and Power (DWP), SoCal Gas, American Red Cross, L.A. Public Works, Department of Transportation (DOT) and Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) are among the cooperating agencies.

“Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) offers a grateful thank you to all of the first responders who protected our community…We also saw many instances of neighbors helping neighbors in the threatened area and in the greater Palisades,” PPCC said in a statement. “This is not an isolated incident or threat. Wildfires are a way of life in Pacific Palisades.  The last super fire that burned through the Santa Monica Mountains interface with Pacific Palisades and Brentwood was 1978, when many homes were lost and St. Matthews Church burned to the ground.  Much of the native growth has been untouched by fire since then.”

For more information on preparing to evacuate, visit https://www.lafd.org/ready-set-go.

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