June 20, 2021

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Palisades Fire is burning northwest of Santa Monica, California – Wildfire Today

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Updated at 6:30 p.m. PDT May 15, 2021

Palisades Fire
Map showing the approximate location of the Palisades Fire in Topanga State Park, May 15, 2021.

The Palisades Fire Started Saturday afternoon about 5 miles northwest of Santa Monica, CA in Topanga State Park. (See map above.) The blaze is less than a mile north of The Summit, a gated community of upscale homes.

At 5:20 p.m. PDT firefighters estimated it had burned 150 to 200 acres.

A 10 mph wind out of the south is pushing the fire up hill to the north into a remote area that is difficult for firefighters to access. It is moving at moderate rate of spread, which is faster than I would expect considering that the relative humidity near the fire at Green Peak was high, 79 percent at 5:16 p.m. PDT.

LA County Helicopter 14, a Bell 412 Palisades Fire
LA County Helicopter 14, a Bell 412, refilling at 69Bravo during the Palisades Fire, 5-15-2021

It is spreading through vegetation that has not burned in at least 60 years, according to records from the National Interagency Fire Center. This buildup of old, possibly decadent brush helps explain how it’s burning so well while the RH is high. Live fuel moisture may also be a factor.

Several helicopters and at least a half dozen fixed wing air tankers worked on the blaze until about 6 p.m. when the tankers had to be shut down due to poor visibility. The helicopters will continue to drop  water through the night, unless the visibility gets even worse.

MyNewsLA reported that members of the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau were searching for a person suspected of setting the fire. The search was confirmed by Deputy Alejandra Parra of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

We will update this article as more information becomes available.

Palisades Fire
Palisades Fire as seen from Green Peak, looking northwest at 4:41 p.m. PDT May 15, 2021.
Palisades Fire
Palisades Fire as seen from 69Bravo Helistop, looking northeast at 4:38 P.M. PDT May 15, 2021.

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