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Brush fire in Pacific Palisades breaks out west of UCLA

The Pacific Palisades fire broke out before 11 a.m., and has now covered more than 30 acres, according to the LAFD. The fire is less than 6 miles away from UCLA, but does not pose a risk to campus, said Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Marilyn Chavez-Martinez

Oct. 21, 2019 1:02 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 22 at 12:28 a.m.

A brush fire erupted in Pacific Palisades on Monday, sending a plume of smoke visible from campus high into the air.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials responded to a fire near Sunset Boulevard and Palisades Drive on Monday around 10:40 a.m. The fire had consumed an estimated 40 acres of brush as of 5 p.m., according to an LAFD update.

The fire is less than 6 miles from campus.

Vice Chancellor Michael Beck said in an email statement at 11 a.m. that there is no risk to the UCLA campus at the moment.

At 8 p.m., LAFD lifted a mandatory evacuation order for all residents near the area after more than seven hours.

The area was originally evacuated because it was heavily impacted by smoke and there was a high presence of aircraft in the area, said LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler at a media briefing.

Two hundred homes had been evacuated across eight residential blocks, according to an LAFD spokesperson.

Palisades resident Corey Brown was not in an evacuation zone, but said he packed cash, his pets, his favorite guitar and some electronics just in case he needed to evacuate as well.

“Those are just the few first things that came to my mind as like the only things that I would want to have on me,” the UCLA alumnus said.

Michelle Hao, a fourth-year human biology and society student, said the fire prevented her from going to her job at an orthodontic office in Pacific Palisades.

“I noticed on my walk back home, I noticed a big cloud of smoke,” Hao said. “I called the orthodontic office and they recommended I don’t come in because of the evacuation orders.”

The cause of the fire was not yet determined at the time of the 3:30 p.m. media briefing. Two injuries were reported, one involving a firefighter who sustained minor injuries and one involving a civilian who cited moderate respiratory distress, Butler said in the briefing.

UCLA Fire is in communication with LAFD and is monitoring the fire, Beck said.

This is a developing story, and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Contributing reports by Jintak Han, Martín Bilbao and David Gray, Daily Bruin senior staff.

 

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Marilyn Chavez-Martinez | Outreach director
Chavez-Martinez is the Outreach Director. She was previously an assistant news editor managing the campus politics beat and still writes for the Daily Bruin news section occasionally. She is also a third-year English and Economics student at UCLA.
Chavez-Martinez is the Outreach Director. She was previously an assistant news editor managing the campus politics beat and still writes for the Daily Bruin news section occasionally. She is also a third-year English and Economics student at UCLA.
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