Skirball Fire destroys homes, closes schools and shuts down the 405

Compiled by Gary Walker

As the Creek, Rye and Thomas fires continued to destroy homes and displace residents in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Westside residents awoke on Wednesday to a dangerous wildfire in our own backyard.

The Skirball Fire broke out east of the 405 Freeway across from the Skirball Cultural Center and consumed 150 acres and several homes in Bel Air in a matter of hours. The 405 shut down between the 10 and the 101, and the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District cancelled classes. An evacuation center has been set up at the Westwood Recreation Center (1350 Westwood Blvd.).

Disaster response officials tell us the best way to help people and animals displaced by these fires is to make a cash donation to the local Red Cross. To make a donation, call (800) HELP-NOW, text to 90999, or mail checks with “Disaster Relief” in the subject line to the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, 11355 Ohio Ave., Los Angeles CA 90025.