Culver City Observer -

Firefighters Knock Down Brush Fire Near Ballona Creek in PDR

 

March 25, 2021

Firefighters have put out a brush fire that burned up to five acres at the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire started around 3:30 near the Ballona Creek and the Playa del Rey oil field storage facility, located at 5701 Lincoln Blvd., said LAFD. The original call came in as a 'trash fire'-- the term linked to homeless fires in the city.

It took 54 firefighters "more than two hours to battle through difficult access and heavy brush to extinguish the fire," LAFD said. Ground crews worked with water-dropping helicopters to hit the pockets of fire along the limited access area.

No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged.

The Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve is the largest coastal wetlands in Los Angeles County. The state is currently reviewing a plan to enhance and establish native coastal wetlands and upland habitat on 566 of the reserve's 577 acres, restoring ecological function to currently degraded wetlands and providing a critical buffer against the effects of sea level rise.

The Playa del Rey oil storage field is operated by Southern California Gas Company. Recently, area residents along with the Culver City Council and LA Councilmen Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz have pressured the gas company to shut down the facility, contending the site could present danger for residents if there is a blowout.

This facility has been compared to Aliso Canyon in Porter Ranch, where one of the largest gas blowout in the history of the U.S. happened. The Playa del Rey facility used to be an active oil field with 29 active gas wells, including eight that were originally drilled in the 1930s.

 

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