Brush Fire Erupts in Sepulveda Basin

ENCINO (CNS) - A brush fire erupted in the Sepulveda Basin today amid red-flag fire conditions, darkening about 10 acres and sending a thick plume of black smoke into the air.

The fire erupted just before 4:30 p.m. near the 5600 block of North Woodley Avenue.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials said the blaze was burning in a southwestern direction, and residents in the Encino and Sherman Oaks area were urged to prepare for possible evacuations, given the dry, windy conditions. As of early evening, however, no evacuation orders had been issued and no structures were being immediately threatened.

According to the LAFD, homeless people living in the area were being moved south toward the Ventura (101) Freeway.

The Sepulveda Basin has become a common camping site for the homeless, although there was no immediate indication of what sparked Thursday's blaze. A roughly seven-acre brush fire burned in the basin in late July, displacing an estimated 100 homeless people who were living in the area.

City crews swept through the area in August and September conducting a massive cleanup operation. The fire also prompted the city to quickly approve an ordinance allowing police to clear homeless people out of fire-prone areas during red flag conditions. It was unclear if any such clearance was done Thursday, when a red flag warning went into effect.

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