Progress of Fire on Sepulveda Pass Hillside East of 405 Freeway Stopped

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - More than 200 firefighters supported by five water-dropping helicopters staged ground and aerial assaults today on a fire that broke out in a burn scar caused by the Skirball Fire and flared east of the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass in Bel-Air, blackening at least 50 acres before it was declared 25% contained in a battle relying on two fire departments, officials said.

The flames were reported about 12:15 a.m. in the 1300 block of North Sepulveda Boulevard, near Getty Center Drive, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“The heel of the fire remains on Sepulveda Boulevard at Getty Center Drive, with the fire having moved slowly eastward, the blaze's flanks stretching north and south from there,'' Humphrey said.

Video from the scene showed the fire moving uphill. The department announced at 2:45 a.m. that the progress of the fire had been stopped.

“Though progress is being made, the fire has yet to be fully controlled and no containment factor has been estimated,'' Humphrey said.

No structures were imminently threatened and no evacuation order was given, he said.

Two firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were being treated at the scene, Humphrey said. No civilian injuries were reported.

A total of 206 firefighters and four LAFD water-dropping helicopters battled the fire and Los Angeles County Fire Department crews and a water-dropping helicopter assisted in stopping the fire's progress, Humphrey said.

At 4:30 a.m., the LAFD said the fire was 15 percent contained.

Both directions of the San Diego Freeway will remain open in the area for the morning commute, but the offramp at Getty Center Drive from the northbound San Diego Freeway will remain closed until fire operations are complete, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Sepulveda Boulevard in both directions near Getty Center Drive will be closed and drivers are being encouraged to allow for extra time to travel through the area, Humphrey said.

The cause of the fire was unknown.

A more detailed estimate of acreage burned and possible containment factor was possible after sunrise, Humphrey said.

The Skirball Fire erupted Dec. 6, 2017, scorched 422 acres over the next 10 days, damaged 12 homes and prompted the evacuation of about 700 homes and an apartment building in the Bel-Air area. Three firefighters were injured in the fire, which was determined to have been caused by an illegal cooking fire at a homeless encampment in a brush area next to where Sepulveda Boulevard crosses under the San Diego Freeway.

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