PCH traffic snarled as crews battle Pacific Palisades brush fire

Traffic on Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades was snarled Tuesday afternoon as firefighters battled a brush fire in the dry hillsides overlooking the Pacific.

About 150 firefighters were attacking the blaze near Chataqua Boulevard and Channel Road, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. About two acres had been scorched.

Northbound lanes on PCH were closed in the area, backing up traffic, officials said. Southbound traffic was snarled as flames burned into the sky and smoke drifted across the ocean.

Crews were being aided by at least one water-dropping helicopter and a Super Scooper aircraft that were making repeated water drops.

Flames were raging near structures, but an LAFD spokesman described the threat as "minimal." Winds were not a factor.

Television news footage showed firefighters battling flames along the steep hillside bordering PCH. Some fire crews staged atop a hillside property near a swimming pool as they fought back the onrushing fire front.

The fire was reported around 3:15 p.m as dry offshore winds blew across Southern California.

Fire agencies have said dry winds, warm weather and low relative humidity have created extreme wildfire conditions in the region.


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