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Sepulveda fire: 50 acres burn in Bel-Air hills amid scorching temperatures

Firefighters were able to stop a brush fire that broke out early Wednesday in Bel-Air off the 405 Freeway.

The blaze, dubbed the Sepulveda fire, was reported about 12:15 a.m. near Getty Center Drive and Sepulveda Boulevard and was burning in rugged, steep terrain in the hills east of the 405, according to fire officials.

Before the sun rose Wednesday morning, officials said, forward progress of the fire had been stopped, but firefighters were still battling the blaze. The 405 Freeway remains open, but the Getty Center Drive off-ramp has been closed.

As of 8 a.m., the fire was estimated to have burned about 50 acres of grass and brush and was 25% contained.

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More than 200 firefighters responded to the fire. Two were injured and treated at the scene, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

No homes were threatened, and no evacuations were ordered. Fire officials, however, set up precautionary structure defense to protect homes near Moraga Drive and in the Bel-Air Crest Estates area, LAFD spokesman Erik Scott said.

Hand crews were fighting the fire on the ground, assisted by water-dropping helicopters, Scott said.

Firefighters’ efforts to control the blaze come amid another day of scorching temperatures across Southern California that saw brush fires popping up all over the state.

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To the south, firefighters were making progress on several brush fires that had burned through more than 12 square miles at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

The blazes were believed to be linked to military training exercises, John Crook, deputy chief of the Camp Pendleton Fire Department, said in a video posted on the base’s Twitter account.

None of the fires posed threats to personnel or buildings, nor to the surrounding communities, Crook said.

Across the Southland, the mercury rose into the mid-90s on Wednesday. Santa Ana winds that kicked up earlier in the week have diminished, according to the National Weather Service.

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The blazes broke out after a day of record-breaking heat across the region. Downtown Los Angeles reached 98 degrees on Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 94 degrees set in 1979. Los Angeles International Airport reached 93 degrees, inching past the previous record for the day of 91 degrees set in 1979.

In Orange County, Anaheim reached 103 degrees, and Newport Beach reached 84 degrees, surpassing their prior records of 92 degrees and 82 degrees, respectively, set in 1990.

Similar weather conditions have helped fuel past brush fires in the area.

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In October 2019, a tree branch that landed in power lines during strong winds sparked the Getty Fire, a brush fire that eventually burned more than 740 acres, according to the LAFD. The fire destroyed 10 homes and damaged another 15 residences.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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