Rupert Murdoch's $30 million California estate and winery has been burned in the Skirball fire that has ravaged the tony Bel-Air community.
From the Los Angeles Times:
About 1:30 p.m., a Los Angeles County firefighter drove by Murdoch’s property and noticed a portion of his vineyards on fire with gray smoke filling the air. He quickly radioed in to other firefighters who within minutes showed up and pried open the gate. Six firefighters rushed in to assess whether to fight the flames, burning on a slope, from below or above.
They decided it wasn’t possible to do so from the bottom. By 2 p.m., three helicopter water drops had been made on the portion of the vineyard that was on fire. Still, smoke rose in the air.
Murdoch released a statement Wednesday saying television footage showed there may be damage to some buildings in the upper vineyard area, but the house and the winery appear to be intact.
From the Daily Beast's Andrew Kirell:
In 1978 during a rainstorm our local cemetery which is located on a hillside, collapsed, sending over 100 corpse’s and coffins throughout the town. It was insane.
The fires are caused by the strong Santa Ana winds, which can gust up to 75 mph. With the dry brush in our mountains, it doesn’t take long for the fires to grow out of control quickly.
The Kirkeby Mansion, which better known as the Clampett Mansion, home of The Beverly Hillbillies, is located in Bel-Air. I haven’t heard if had any damage.