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Los Angeles Fires Stop TV Productions, Close Freeways, and Threaten Homes

Firefighters have been dispatched to help protect thousands of acres in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.


The ‘Thomas Fire,’ which began in Ventura, California December 4.


Blazes in Southern California are currently wreaking havoc on the film and television community. The 405 Freeway has been partly shut down due to a brush fire that started last night and now encompasses 50 acres, per the Los Angeles Fire Department. That fire endangers the famed Getty and Skirball Cultural Centers; according to Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch’s Bel Air estate is among those that fall within the evacuation zone.

These are in addition to four active fires reported yesterday in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Ventura, plus one in Santa Clarita that raged across tens of thousands of acres, with the Ventura fire requiring 27,000 residents to evacuate.

Valencia and Newfall, California have also endured the Rye Fire since yesterday, necessitating a two-day (thus far) closure of Santa Clarita Studios, home to the new CBS crime drama “S.W.A.T.,” starring Shemar Moore.

The Rye Fire additionally brought production on HBO’s “Westworld” to a halt on December 5. Season Two filming resumed today at Newfall’s Melody Ranch; the network said in a statement shared with IndieWire that the cast will be working alongside a Fire Safety Officer, who will “monitor conditions throughout the day.”

Trees burn during the 'Thomas Fire', which began overnight in Ojai, California, USA, 05 December 2017. In the first 24 hours, the fire has already burned 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) and has forced more than 27,000 people to evacuate as one of the strongest Santa Ana winds forecast of the season is ongoing and expected to last several days.Thomas fire burns in Ventura County, California, Ojai, USA - 05 Dec 2017

Trees burn during the ‘Thomas Fire’, which began in Ojai, CA.


Twentieth Century Fox told IndieWire that production on its forthcoming Dylan McDermott series, “L.A. to Vegas,” is temporarily suspended as the studio awaits more information; crew members had been scheduled to work close to the fires. ABC/Disney and Universal confirmed that none of their shows are impacted by the fires; same goes for Lionsgate, where each series is currently shooting outside California.

FilmL.A., the city and county’s non-profit film office, told IndieWire that Fox’s “Last Man on Earth,” based in Chatsworth, California, and Bravo’s “Flipping Out,” lately set in Encino, have also been affected by the fires. Additionally, FilmL.A. issued an alert saying it cannot accept permit applications for crews wishing to start filming in Arcadia’s Angeles National Forest prior to December 15. Until further notice, the LAFD also cannot spare Uniformed Fire Safety Officers for shoots in designated “Mountain Fire Zones.”

An advanced screening of “In The Fade,” set to be held tonight at the Writers Guild Theater, was also cancelled.

Story developing

Micheal Schneider contributed to this report.

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