California wildfires grow in size as flames reach Rupert Murdoch vineyard

A number of properties in the Bel Air area been destroyed by the Skirball fire, including Rupert Murdoch's $30m home, with flames reaching a temperature-controlled wine storage shed on the mogul's Moraga Vineyards estate on Wednesday.

A new wildfire erupted in Los Angeles' posh Bel-Air area while the firefighters were battling three other blazes across southern California.

On Moraga Drive on Wednesday, gray smoke surrounded Murdoch's property, but neither the buildings nor the vineyards had burned.

'We believe the winery and house are still intact'.

"We are monitoring the situation as closely as we can and are grateful for the efforts of all the first responders", Moraga estate posted to its Twitter account.

'There are presently more than 300 LAFD firefighters assigned to what is called the "Skirball Fire", with resources from allied agencies supporting the firefight, ' reported a statement from the LA Fire Department, at 10pm Wednesday 6th December, local time. It's unclear if the fire is burning the vineyard or the house as well.

Mr Murdoch's property at 1050 Moraga Avenue was bought in August 2013 for US$28.8 million from former Northrop Corp CEO Tom Jones.

"The prospects for containment are not good", Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said on Tuesday.

They produce 10,000 bottles a year, around 70% of which is red Bordeaux-blends, and 30% is Sauvignon Blanc.

Ms Langer said it appeared the seven acres of vines suffered only slight damage and the grapes already had been harvested.


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