A fast-moving brush fire spread over an estimated 40 acres and threatened nearly 200 homes in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Monday, the authorities said.
Evacuation orders were lifted by Monday night, and the Los Angeles Fire Department said none of the homes that had been threatened by the fire were damaged. One civilian and one emergency responder were injured.
The flames were driven by hot, dry conditions, fire officials said, adding that a lack of wind and residents’ compliance with instructions to clear brush had helped contain the flames.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.
The fire, reported around 10:40 a.m. local time, started at the base of Palisades Drive and spread over approximately 18 acres in just 15 minutes, Patrick Butler, an assistant chief with the fire department, said at a news conference on Monday. The response was complicated by the steep, hilly terrain.
It was an “extremely challenging fire for hand crews,” he said. “They’re essentially clawing their way up this hillside, with rocks coming down on them.”
Video footage showed flames and billowing smoke approaching homes as people fled, and helicopters spewing giant plumes of water on the flames. Officials warned residents to steer clear of the area.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued by the authorities for nearly 200 homes in the Highlands neighborhood, near Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane.
The fire department lifted those orders on Monday evening.
“Everyone in high fire danger areas should be cautious and ready to quickly evacuate, since fire danger weather conditions will continue to be dangerously dry and windy over the next several days,” it said in a statement.
In a TV interview with CBSN Los Angeles, Sean Rios, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, emphasized that homeowners should always clear the areas around their houses to protect them.
“Fire season is called fire season, and in California, that can be any time of year,” he said.
Pacific Palisades is an affluent community just north of Santa Monica. Local landmarks include the Getty Villa museum.