Patterico's Pontifications


Rancho Palos Verdes Brush Fire (Updated 13 Times)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:06 pm

There is a decent sized fire very close; it looks no more than 3-5 miles away.

If you know anything about it, leave a message in the comments.

UPDATE: Mrs. P. has turned on KCAL 9, which is showing live footage. We’ve had Santa Anas for the last couple of days at least and it’s been very warm, even at night.

She also says she was outside a few minutes ago and there was a big flash and the hillside went dark (except for the fire) for a second or two. Apparently the fire hit a transformer. But power did not stay off.

UPDATE x2: LAist has more here. AP here.

UPDATE x3: You can see homes on fire on the television; Mrs. P. watched one collapse. The L.A. Times is reporting that the next community over (Portuguese Bend) has been ordered to evacuate. (H/t DRJ.)

UPDATE x4: A photo of a home in flames, from the KTLA web site:

RPV Home in Flames

UPDATE x5: I thought I had said this at the outset, but I didn’t: I can see this fire clearly from my back yard. There is a tower of smoke and the wall of flame is visible; there are 4-5 helicopters in the air.

UPDATE x6: If you walk in our back yard, it smells like you’re sitting around the camp fire.

Mrs. P. saw another big blue flash and a nearby hillside has now lost power.

UPDATE x7: Jesus. I’m shocked that we still have power. The block immediately below us has lost power, and only a few houses towards the fire have lights on. The entire hillside between us and the fire is completely black.

Mrs. P. reports that the wind has picked up and is right in our face as we look towards the fire.

UPDATE x8: Another trip to the back yard. The wall of flame is gone and it looks a lot less menacing. The power is still out to virtually every home around us, however. It’s a miracle we still have power.

UPDATE x9: Link to live footage from KTLA. (H/t Apogee.) Turn down your sound before you click.

UPDATE x10: New L.A. Times story:

RANCHO PALOS VERDES– At least six homes have been destroyed by a fast moving brush fire that broke out in Rancho Palos Verdes shortly after 8:00 p.m. Several others structures are threatened by the flames and evacuations are underway.

The fire is burning near Ocean Trails Drive and Palos Verdes Drive, near the Trump National Golf Club, according to Captain Mike Brown of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Evacuation orders have been issued for the streets of Portuguese Bend, Amber Sky, and Crest Road in Rancho Palos Verdes, Captain Sam Padilla of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told KTLA.

I just went to Google Maps and checked. As the crow flies, Portuguese Bend Road is about 6000 feet away — barely over a mile. Amber Sky at Crest Road is about two miles away.

UPDATE x11: Another trip to the back yard. The wall of flame is back.

I don’t think I’m going to sleep very well tonight.

UPDATE x12 AUGUST 28: At 6 a.m. this morning there was a horizontal layer of smog, fog, smoke, or who knows what in between us and the location of the fire. You can’t see flames any more and my impression is that it is either out, or has died down considerably.

UPDATE x13: The L.A. Times reports that much of the fire has been contained.

87 Responses to “Rancho Palos Verdes Brush Fire (Updated 13 Times)”

  1. At least as of 7 PM there wasn’t anything that close, according to this:

    There’s a fire next to the Foothills Freeway, about 30 miles north. Could that be what you’re seeing?

    Those pictures update several times per day, so it’s worth checking back.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. It’s happening now. Didn’t I just say I can see it from my back yard?

    Turn on the TV. It’s on the news.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  3. Patterico – Our prayers. Are any of my other Cali friends nearby? Hope everyone is alright.

    JD (0a78bf)

  4. KCAL 9 is running live footage.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  5. Across from Trump- looks really bad. Does anyone know if the FDept. need volunteers?

    LASue (5624e4)

  6. Happyfeet once said of Mother Nature, and I paraphrase …

    When she is not being overtly treacherous, you can be sure she is plotting against you.

    JD (0a78bf)

  7. Where’s FEMA? It’s the president’s fault! Oh wait, my bad, got it mixed up this time. The gov is an R and the prez is a D. It’s the governor’s fault!

    Ray (3c46ca)

  8. Good luck, Patterico. I just tried to ask you about it on Twitter.
    We can see a big fire out our window, but it’s not that one. Luckily for us, the winds are almost nothing. We can’t even smell it.

    Thinking of you.

    MayBee (3d1a9c)

  9. The LA Times reports two homes have already been destroyed and “immediate evacuation orders have been issued in the Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes.” It also reports the burning power lines Mrs. P saw.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  10. KTLA has the same report.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  11. I am in the Hollywood Riviera, on Paseo de Granada, and we can see a big wall of smoke in the darkness to the Southeast of us, but cannot smell it. We did not know about it until we heard about it on the news.

    EmmaB (600213)

  12. There have been 2 homes lost in the PV fire and some areas are being evacuated….my prayers are to all

    pvcooper (46cf2b)

  13. I hope all is well … hot Santa Ana’s – it’s that time of the year again! Hoses to the roof!

    Steven W. (b5fa74)

  14. The LA Times has updated its report to one structure burned and others threatened.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  15. We’ve got our candles, flashlights, and hoses ready to go.

    LASue (5624e4)

  16. Patterico – if you have to bolt, there is a live feed (wi-fi laptop) from abc news at:

    Right now it’s bars and tone, but the copter may just be refueling.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  17. is the fire department using THERMAL-GEL instead of water? Is this product available to the helicopters?

    LELAN (c0c904)

  18. Apogee:

    It says the live feed has ended.

    I was working before but am having a hard time concentrating on work.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  19. The Twitter feed for ABC7 says it is refueling but will return soon.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  20. Sounds like the fire is near Rolling Hills. The news keeps mentioning Cinchring Rd and Spur Rd.

    EmmaB (600213)

  21. EmmaB:

    No, it’s very close in Rancho Palos Verdes. The reports I have seen are Ocean Trails Drive and PV Drive South. I bike to there.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  22. I have added several updates and will continue, unless we lose power. Which seems rather likely.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  23. This is crazy. I’m sort of near the fire.

    Reed (b345ce)

  24. Patterico – Our prayers. Are any of my other Cali friends nearby? Hope everyone is alright.

    Hey JD- we are miles and miles away. Probably a good 40 miles away from the nearest fire. But we could see it earlier.

    MayBee (3d1a9c)

  25. Reports on Twitter that they’re doing water drops… We’re down the hill in RB – haven’t seen the choppers/planes yet. Evacuation to Peninsula HS.

    KP (b9567d)

  26. Mr. P – working on getting you another video link.

    I remember this from another Santa Clarita fire. There doesn’t seem to be any system in LA for tracking live info on fire locations. If people don’t know where the fire is, they might try to evacuate right into it.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  27. Dana’s Fox link is reporting live now. It said more Rancho Palos Verdes subdivisions are being evacuated. I suggest you pack important things so you will be ready to move out quickly if you are asked to evacuate.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  28. To give you an idea of how hot this is, the Fox helicopter announcer said the temperature at 3,500 feet above the fire is 85 degrees while the temperature on the ground at LAX is 71 degrees. He also said the wind seems to be dying down, so that’s good news.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  29. Evacuation orders have been issued for the streets of Portuguese Bend, Amber Sky, and Crest Road in Rancho Palos Verdes, Captain Sam Padilla of the Los Angeles County (current)

    Dana (0f0b2e)

  30. As Mrs. P said above, the Fox announcers are now confirming that the winds shifted and are pushing the fire toward homes.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  31. The fire line is very long, and the flames seem to be burning higher.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  32. Evacuations to Pen and Ernie Howlett.

    LASue (5624e4)

  33. According to Fox, mandatory evacuations are going into effect for areas in Rancho Palos Verdes as noted by Dana above:

    Crenshaw on the North end.
    Palos Verdes on the south and west end.
    Crest Road … ?

    The Sheriff’s office is sending cars into the neighborhoods to notify residents via loudspeakers. An evacuation center has been set up at Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  34. We’re not under mandatory evacuation, but one of the roads that is, is about 6000 feet away.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  35. Per Fire Inspector Stowers (sp?) on Fox, horses and other animals can be evacuated to Ernie Howlett Park. People should go to Peninsula High School.

    The Rancho Palos Verdes fire is currently 30-40 acres in size and is being handled by firefighters from LA County, the city of LA, and the City of Torrance.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  36. The Fox helicopter announcer says the Rancho Palos Verdes fire seems to be running out of fuel.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  37. The Fox helicopter announcer says the Rancho Palos Verdes fire seems to be running out of fuel.

    Good. Because I just stepped outside again and (as I said in UPDATE x11) the wall of flame looked high as it did much earlier.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  38. It looks pretty high in the video, too, but they seem to think the fire has been channeled into areas where the vegetation is sparse.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  39. Have your vehicle and family packed and necessary papers in hand in case mandatory evacuation is declared. During the San Diego County wind whipped fires a few years ago I drove down from LA to pack up my aging mother and had her ready to go as the mandatory evacuation zone reached about 500 yards from her home. Fortunately, it was contained but the hillsides all around hwe were ablaze and she still finds ash in gutters and attic spaces from it all these years later blown into places.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  40. Fox has 2 feeds. The first one is covering the Station Fire and the RPV fire, with audio from the Fox announcers. The second one is the RPV helicopter video with only the pilot’s audio.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  41. What is the latest info on the rpv fires. We are 2miles sw of the fires and have no info due to cable/ internet outtage. What is the latest.

    jessie (3cde02)

  42. According to the Fox announcers, the worst of the fire is in an area called Peacock Flats. They also mentioned Wrangler Road and possibly Crestwind.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  43. Jessie,

    Everything I know is in the 11 updates. I think you are just down the hill from me in that great blacked-out area.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  44. Fox says there will be a news conference in the next hour on the RPV fire. It also reports the evacuations are centered on the Portuguese Bend area but helicopter drops have been effective because the winds are dying down. They are repeating earlier reports that 3 houses have burned down.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  45. Jessie,

    Where are you? The fire area seems to be between Cinchring Rd, Portuguese Bend Rd. & Crenshaw Blvd, although they’ve evacuated Amber Sky dr.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  46. The LAFD PIO said on KCAL9 that the main concern is movement to the North and NorthEast. He was well pleased with the local populace evacuating (2K – 3K). Four helicopters currently dropping water. Air support is likely to continue all night.

    Ed from SFV (a8b34c)

  47. This was issued at 11:40 pm from the guv weather service. It notes “Red Flag” areas which are forecast to be likely locations of the fire.



    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  48. According to a fire official interviewed on Fox, the fire is now at 75 acres. The firefighters plan to work through the night with 5 helicopters dropping water, about 70 fire engines, and over 200 firefighters. People should be ready to evacuate and should leave if the fire gets close.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  49. Apogee,

    The Fox announcers also mentioned firefighters are concerned about Quail Ridge Road, which Mapquest shows as just West of Cinchring Road.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  50. Also, Ranchero and Wrangler Roads which are just south of Quail Ridge and Cinchring off Portuguese Bend.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  51. I hope you are all set to leave.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  52. DRJ – The fire’s going to have to go through a lot of houses I expect before it gets to Jesse if he’s a couple miles away.

    Any news from Patterico?

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  53. I actually work in that area, though I had the day off. I’m very worried about my friends and coworkers out there. If anyone out there has a map showing where the fires are, I would appreciate a link.

    Amanda Blackwood (8d53a2)

  54. Apogee,

    It would have to go through a lot of houses to get to me as well.

    Based on the descriptions you all are giving me about the roads where the fire is worst, I’m about 8000 feet from the center of it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  55. Thanks to global warming we get disasters like this.

    Actually, the current miserable heat (and drought) in Southern California is due not to friggin’ manmade carbon dioxide (horror of horrors!), but a ridge of friggin’ heavy atmospheric pressure floating over the Western United States—sort of like a big butt planted over a person’s face.

    A yin-yang situation, btw, that, at the same time, is allowing the eastern US to be cooler than normal during 2009.

    I guess AGW affects only certain parts of the globe. So there must be less carbon dixoide oozing into the atmosphere over the currently temperate Eastern Seaboard? Fewer cars, fewer factories, fewer power plants around there? Yep and uh-huh. Green Earth liberalism appears to have done the trick in the Northeast!

    Mark (411533)

  56. Patterico – Praying that the winds stay calm, as that’s 90% of it. 70 Fire companies will continue to work on that all night, and the paved roads count as at least some fire breaks.

    I had no idea you were so hoity-toity. The PV – you and Spielberg.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  57. The Fox announcers signed off. There’s still video from the helicopter but I don’t know the area, so I don’t know what’s being shown without announcers to identify it.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  58. Spielberg??

    I didn’t think anyone famous lived here.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  59. Thanks Apogee. Exactly what I was needing. You helped me tremendously.

    Patterico – SEVERAL well known people from the Industry live up there. My favorite nice guy (who frequents Yummy Yogurt on Silver Spur and Dry Bank) is Keano Reeves.

    Amanda Blackwood (8d53a2)

  60. Geographical and terrain maps superimposed on a Google geo map.

    Click on the link on the right (under the “Incident” column), the name of the fire.

    Also gives additional info.

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  61. Great ENG camera tutorial going on the FOX feed. Now they’re giving directions DRJ.

    P – I didn’t think anyone famous lived here.

    C’mon, PV attracts celebrities like bugs, and now you have the wonderful Trump Golf Course.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  62. Keano Reeves – Is he related to Keanu Reeves, but just lives in Vegas?

    Now the FOX guy’s getting job inquiries. Classic. “We’ve just had layoffs. Oh, and we’re union.”

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  63. I’m southeast of the fire so I guess we’re OK unless the wind shifts.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  64. The Fox feed shows parts of the fire are flaring very high at times, but it looks like the helicopters and fire engines are on top of it. I’m sure this will be a night you’ll long remember.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  65. I live just outside of LAX but on the way home from my job in Torrance, you could see the thick smoke against the darkening sky. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it never gets less creepy…

    Stay safe Patterico & other Angelinos.

    Triumvirate (e27dae)

  66. kcal9 helicopter just reported the fire looks much more manageable than 45 mins ago, wind dying down, main active area is on ‘west flank’ in a steep area about 100 yards from homes (possibly near crest rd) where the 3 helicopters are currently working. The ‘east side’, he says, is pretty well taken care of.

    now if we only knew exactly where the ‘west flank’ was..

    earlier he said the helicopters are fetching water near the ‘old lighthouse’ (which must be offshore near the pt vicente lighthouse)

    traveler496 (c1e5c5)

  67. kcal9 helicopter took off for home about 40 min ago sounding real bored off camera, though as a parting shot he showed a circular still-burning area which didn’t look large in extent. I still hear helicopters buzzing around the pt vicente area so I guess they’re still actively dumping water on burn areas.

    [what was really lacking in the coverage I was able to find is any but the most haphazard correlation between what I was seeing and physical locations. I think I was able to infer where most of the action was, at least on the W side (then pulled up google earth to get a sense of the 3D terrain there), but only by triangulating among a dozen street names that happened to be dropped in different places, times, and contexts.]

    traveler496 (c1e5c5)

  68. I can sympathize with the people in Los Angeles. I was way too close to the Oakland Hills fire for comfort.

    Good luck, and I’m praying for you.

    Dave Surls (182975)

  69. Hope all is well.

    Em (7139fe)

  70. Damn, First it was my friend in Cedar Rapids with the flood, now the Pattericos. I hope all is well.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  71. Take the fam and run for it Pat

    EricPWJohnson (c99190)

  72. Made it through the night. A bit difficult with the holicopters above us, but we r greatful that the fire is under control-i think. Still no cable/internet available. It is frustrating not to know what is happening. Thanks for this blog (prob. The best for news info)it provided all the info needed. I can still hear the ski traffic, but seems to be getting better.

    jessie (0d131e)

  73. You and your family will be in my prayers. God be with you.

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  74. Seems like everyone here made it through relatively unscathed. I am grateful and thankful for that.

    JD (07b76c)

  75. Are you ok? Is the situation under control?

    nk (b17d90)

  76. The Dog Trainer had the morning update: 35% containment as of 5:50 AM. Me, I don’t stop getting nervous until containment reaches 70-80%, but it depends on weather, terrain, and the like.

    Not seeing the fire reported on the Calfire site: probably too soon, and most likely it’s a LA county show for the while. Local news will tell you most of what you need to know, though taking a close look at the NOAA website for a forecast for your exact location could help a bit. This is a first cut at the point forcast.

    We’ll keep you in our prayers.


    Red County Pete (d0363d)

  77. The L.A. Times reports that much of the fire has been contained.

    Yeah, but they buried it in paragraph 19, and quoted 4 pro-fire flacks first.

    More seriously, thinking of you. Be well.

    fishbane (66eed3)

  78. Spoke to my mother this morning and she says she was watching the La Canada (sp?) fires from her balcony this morning.

    JD (959071)

  79. Glad you made it through unscathed, Patterico! I am heading over to Peninsula to see if any evacuees need help.

    LASue (5624e4)

  80. I moved from Hollywood Riv to Montana 5 years ago, but worked for Tom Major in Lunada Bay for many years. I didn’t think there was much burnable canyon by the golf course. Did it get whale watch park? Old Marineland site? What about the Glass Church, is it ok? The canyon area at Crest is above the old Vanderlips mansion, isn’t it? (A lovely old estate when I visited it in the 80s). Or is it more towards the Walteria side of the hill looking towards LA harbor? My prayers and good thoughts all going out to you there.

    Katie Johnston (47572c)

  81. I can’t think of anything more frightning except maybe a tornado. Stay safe first and foremost, if you gotta get out, scoot like the demons from hell are after you (or like Obama wants the money in your wallet).

    Be safe!!!!

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  82. Hope you all come through this OK.

    htom (412a17)

  83. Please take care – don’t wait until the flames are leaping at your roof or something. You can always replace anything that’s lost, except your lives.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  84. Glad it was contained quickly and that you didn’t need to evacuate.

    This is one time that I think my brother is happy that he lives in the “poor” part of RPV :-).
    They didn’t even get smoke or see flames. Some ash today. My sis-in-law said her phone didn’t stop ringing. Probably the same for you and Mrs. P. Hope you get some rest tonight.

    CardioNP (dbdee1)

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