Rupert Murdoch's $30M Property Destroyed By Wildfire

Courtesy of Moraga Vineyards
Moraga Vineyards

Courtesy of Moraga Vineyards Moraga Vineyards

Rupert Murdoch's multimillion-dollar property in Bel-Air has been evacuated as possibly damaged, though the owner believes the winery and house remain intact as the Skirball Fire descends on the tony community. It has forced multiple evacuations and the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center was shut down.

The fire brought back memories of the 1961 Bel-Air fire, in which movie stars including Maureen O'Hara and Fred MacMurray fought to save their homes - a seminal event that fed apocalyptic visions of Los Angeles for decades to come.

Murdoch's 16-acre Moraga Vineyards estate appeared to be burning as of Wednesday morning, according to a local NBC News affiliate in Los Angeles.

Moraga Estate, acquired in 2013 for US$28.8 million, is squarely in the evacuation zone. NBC reported that staff at the villa was ordered to evacuate the property, which features a 7,500-square-foot house that's surrounded by olive trees and chicken.

The Skirball Fire alone has already burned more than 150 acres, with winds gusting to more than 50 miles per hour.

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Wildfires have been burning in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties since Monday evening.

No casualties have yet been reported but thousands of homes are threatened by the fires, including in the luxury Bel Air area.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing state funds and resources to assist firefighters.

Mr Butler said four homes had been destroyed and 11 damaged since the blaze erupted before dawn on Wednesday in an area that includes many hilltop mansions.

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