Wildfire burns near hilltop homes in coastal Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A furious firefighting air and ground attack beat back a wildfire Monday as it raced up canyon walls toward multimillion-dollar ocean-view homes on a ridge in Los Angeles.

The blaze broke out around 10:30 a.m. in the affluent Pacific Palisades neighborhood and flames churned uphill through large green trees and dry brush.

Helicopters made strategic water drops as the fire burned fences and lawn furniture behind large houses at the top of a bluff.

Some residents evacuated from the hillside community west of downtown Los Angeles, while others stayed behind and used backyard garden hoses to try and protect their homes.

Crews saved at least a half dozen houses, said city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey.

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"Thankfully no homes have suffered serious damage," Humphrey said. No injuries were reported.

A huge plume of smoke was visible across the city.

The Fire Department attributed the lack of significant damage to the lack of wind and strong compliance with strict brush clearance regulations.

Predicted weak to moderate Santa Ana winds did not materialize in the area and instead remained confined to the northwest on the Central Coast.

Nonetheless, an evacuation order was issued for the area due to potential fire behavior and smoke as well as expected arrival of large airplanes to drop fire retardant.

The cause is under investigation.

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Associated Press writers John Antczak and Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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