The Santa Ana winds have whipped the ongoing Skirball fire into one of the worst natural disasters in the history of modern Southern California. As of Friday, December 8 at 9 a.m., the blaze was 30% contained and firefighters were making important progress.
For now, the fire remains a serious threat to the region.
The Skirball fire has forced thousands of residents in Los Angeles county to evacuate. In Bel Air, about 40,000 residents were ordered to evacuate, and the Skirball fire has chewed its way through multi-million dollar mansions in Sherman Oaks and Bel Air.
Realtor.com has reported that 61% of homebuyers this year were under the age of 35. In addition to being young, first-time home buyers now make up about 35% of all home purchases. But in these upscale neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the fire isn’t discriminating. Celebrities, millionaires, nuns, and ordinary citizens alike have been affected so far.
NBC4 reported that Fox News magnate Rupert Murdoch is just one of the victim’s of the fire. NBC4 reported on Wednesday that Murdoch’s estate, purchased in 2013 for $28.8 million, was burning to the ground as the fire ripped through his Bel Air neighborhood.
On the other end of the income spectrum, The Los Angeles Times reports that nearly 100 retired nuns were forced to evacuate from their nursing home, the Brentwood Carondelet Center.
Many of the retired sisters were in their 80s, which complicated the evacuation efforts. Fortunately, to care for the nuns during the fire, the nursing home’s staff personally volunteered to house the nuns while the fire rages.
“We don’t want to take the risk and put them through this again if we’re asked to evacuate again,” Sister Anne McMullen, an administrator at the Carondelet Center, told The Los Angeles Times. “So this was the safest and most comfortable option we could think of.”
It’s just one more example of the ways Los Angelenos are supporting each other during the ongoing fires affecting the region. In addition to displacing homeowners, the fire has also threatened important cultural institutions such at the Getty Center, the Skirball Cultural Center, and the iconic Mulholland Drive.To view a map of the evacuation zone from the Los Angeles Fire Department, visit Curbed Los Angeles for more information.