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LA brush fire: ‘It’s not normal’ Topanga Canyon was used to the flames, but also early

The temperatures were cool, the sky overcast with drizzle.

But that didn’t stop the Palisades fire from continuing to threaten communities in Topanga Canyon on Sunday.

It is the land of fire. And the locals know the dangers. But for many, they see summer and fall as dangerous times – when Santa Ana winds combine with warm temperatures.

But this weekend was classic May gray.

“If you look out a window or step outside, all you see is smoke billowing everywhere,” said Jessica Rogers, president of the Pacific Palisades Residents Assn. While speaking with a reporter, she received a notice that part of the Palisades Highlands was placed under an evacuation warning due to changing winds.

RELATED: Palisade Fire: What You Need To Know

“My daughter said, ‘Mom, I’m very scared,’” said Rogers, adding that the sound of the helicopters was disconcerting. Hours later, her children and father were evacuated, choosing to stay with their family in Santa Monica, she said.

The Palisades fire had grown to 1325 acres and was 0% contained. With an evacuation order in place for homes near Topanga Canyon Road, around 1,000 people have been displaced, authorities said on Sunday.

Fire was burning through a dense, ancient chaparral that had not burned for more than 50 years, authorities said. Vegetation was very dry due to a lack of recent rainfall, as well as a longer term drought.

The cool weather and wet conditions helped the firefighters, but it was still a tough fight.

“It’s not normal to have a big fire like this in May,” said Scott Ferguson, chairman of the board of directors of the Topanga Civil Protection Coalition. “It’s the sort of thing we would usually do in November.”

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