Firefighters battling a brush fire that forced evacuations in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood were aided by good weather overnight, and the blaze was 40% contained early Wednesday, authorities said.
The blaze, dubbed the Portola fire, had charred 35 to 40 acres in the Beverly Crest and Benedict Canyon areas as of Wednesday, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott. The fire was sparked Tuesday afternoon by someone using a weed wacker to clear brush in preparation for the fire season, according to the LAFD. Residents of about 86 homes were ordered on Tuesday to pack up their belongings and leave as more than 250 firefighters swarmed the narrow, winding streets and mounted an aggressive attack.