Peter Genovese (via YouTube)
Huge grass/tree fire on the side of the freeway at the 405/118 freeway interchange in the Mission Hills area. Not sure what started it but I speculate it was a cigarette thrown out the window due to the very dry and windy conditions. I caught the fire as it was its largest and just as the water dropping helicopter dropped its water load. Contact: Peter Genovese
More than 40 Los Angeles firefighters have fully contained a small blaze by Interstate 405 that's impacted traffic in the San Fernando Valley.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey says northbound traffic on Interstate 405 was slowed by the less than 2 acre blaze Sunday afternoon just north of Devonshire Street near Mission Hills.
Peter Genovese, 38, said he was on his way back from lunch around 2:30 p.m. when he saw smoke on the side of the freeway. He pulled over and was at the scene shortly before fire officials arrived. About 25-30 local residents and drivers had gathered and were watching the blaze.
"I would say there was about a 50-to-100 foot span of grass that looked like it was right at the edge of the freeway that was already engulfed in smaller flames here and there," he said. "Then somebody pointed out to me that toward the north end of the flames there was a bit bigger wall of flames. It looked like the wind was carrying some of the embers downwind towards the south and catching little other parts of the grass on fire."
Genovese caught the fire department's water drop on video, which you can see above.
Fire spokesman Humphrey said no structures were threatened. More than 40 firefighters and three water-dropping helicopters battled the flames, which were put out in 36 minutes.
Firefighters told the Associated Press they'll be mopping up for the next few hours.
A regional high wind advisory is in effect starting at 7 p.m. Sunday through 3 p.m. Tuesday.
A red flag warning indicating low humidity and gusty northeast Santa Ana winds is in effect from 3 a.m. Monday through 6 p.m. Wednesday.