Santa Ana winds still expected as fire remains at 45 acres
By Sam Catanzaro
After relentless work by firefighters throughout the night, the Palisades Fire remains at 45 acres and 55 percent contained as of 9:00 a.m. Thursday and while Santa Ana winds were weaker than expected overnight, gusts up to 50 MPH are still anticipated and the Los Angeles Fire Department is advising residents to be prepared to evacuate if told to do so.
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 Thursday morning, 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.
“Fortunately, the anticipated overnight Santa Ana winds were weaker than expected, and firefighters were able to take advantage, holding the containment lines with no spot fires.”Brian Humphrey, LAFD Public Information Officer
“Fortunately, the anticipated overnight Santa Ana winds were weaker than expected, and firefighters were able to take advantage, holding the containment lines with no spot fires. With winds increasing throughout the day into Friday evening, crews are working diligently to strengthen the perimeter,” said Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) public information officer Brian Humphrey. “Nightly FIRIS infrared mapping assists the incident commanders making key decisions to strategically place firefighters in specified areas to seek and destroy remaining hot spots. This technology increases situational awareness that assists us to protect lives and preserve property.”
According to the LAFD, strong Santa Ana winds will continue across the burn area through Friday, gusting between 35-50 MPH. Additionally, widespread single-digit relative humidity will continue through Friday.
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 to last 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.
“This Santa Ana wind event, serves as a reminder to be prepared in the event of a brush fire in the Los Angeles area. Residents living in wildfire-prone areas should remain vigilant and familiarize themselves with the Ready-Set-Go program (with an emphasis on Set and Go at this stage),” Humphrey said. “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.”
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.
177 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.
VIDEO: @LACoFireAirOps Firehawk helicopter lines up to drop water on the #PalisadesFire as it threatened homes earlier. We can’t stress enough the importance of defensible space. To learn more, visit https://t.co/Px9oJpURIs (media, ok to use with credit) @LAFD @LAFDtalk pic.twitter.com/i9iYlMk5Hm— LACoFireAirOps (@LACoFireAirOps) October 22, 2019
“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.