By Erin Nyren
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – A small brush fire broke out in the Hollywood Hills above the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, Calif., causing the Warner Bros. lot to evacuate as a precaution, before its forward progress was stopped at around 5 p.m. Saturday.
According to the LAFD, fire crews are working on putting out the “still active wildfire,” with a containment goal of the “box” created by Forest Lawn Cemetery, Coyote Canyon Drive, Forest Lawn Drive and Wonder View Drive.
The LAFD added that the fire’s cause is under investigation.
An update posted at 4:13 p.m. indicated that the Barham fire had grown in size to 25 acres, with 236 LAFD personnel assigned, including five helicopters, two CL415 fixed wing aircraft and four LACoFD handcrews.
The LAFD added that while there continue to be no formal evacuations, “a handful of persons living closest to the fire, and being affected by smoke only, were directly contacted and encouraged to shelter in place at their residence.”
When the fire broke out, it covered about three acres of “heavy brush” on the north side of the Hollywood Hills. The LAFD said that it had a slow rate of spread and “wind is not a factor.”
An update posted to Twitter at 3:23 p.m. said that 153 LAFD ground and air personnel were on the scene, in addition to four “LACoFD hand crews, actively battling flames in moderate to heavy brush.”
According to the L.A. Times, the LAFD has said there are natural barriers between the fire and Warner Bros. and Universal, which is also located nearby, and that there have been no injuries, structures threatened, or formal evacuations.
Videos posted to Twitter of the fire showed some visible flames, along with heavy smoke and helicopters.
Mayor Eric Garcetti posted a statement on Twitter urging citizens to “be aware of emergency vehicles and firefighters operating in the area as the LAFD fights this fire.”
Though the Barham fire appears small at the moment, worries about wildfires have been high across Southern California even as this year’s fire season has so far been better than expected. The worst of this year’s California wildfires, the Kinkade fire, took place in Sonoma County in Northern California, and had burned more than 77,000 acres as of Nov. 6.
The largest fire in Los Angeles County this year is the Saddleridge fire, which burned nearly 9,000 acres and destroyed 19 structures in late October. Other Los Angeles County fires include the Getty fire (745 acres) and the Tick fire (4,615 acres). Nearby fires include the Easy fire in Ventura County, which threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, and the Sandalwood fire in Riverside, which burned a little over 1,000 acres in mid-October.
Fire experts believe the worst of 2019’s fire season may be yet to come, with stronger winds picking up between November and December.
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019