Rupert Murdoch Says His Vineyard Buildings May Have Fire Damage

Rupert Murdoch's Bel Air vineyard is shown on the Moraga Estate website

The Skirball fire has burned more than 150 acres as Santa Ana winds continue to create risky conditions.

State fire director Ken Pimlott said winds that eased in the afternoon could return with gusts up to 80mph on Thursday that would make it impossible to fight the fire. Almost 1,800 firefighters and a fleet of aircraft are fighting the flames but the blaze is only 5% contained and an estimated 12,000 buildings are in danger.

Fires ignited on Monday throughout southern California and have already burnt through 100,000 acres, with fires still burning in Ventura Counties, including Ojai, to the the east of Los Angeles, on the edge of Santa Barbara wine country. The media mogul purchased the estate in 2013 for $28.8 million, according to Bloomberg.

Mr Murdoch's Moraga Bel Air winery issued a statement on Twitter on Wednesday saying, "We are watching the situation unfold very carefully along with everyone else".

The grapes for this vintage will have been harvested, but there could still be some damage to the vines themselves. "Some of our neighbors have suffered heavy losses and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time".

Local news affiliate NBC4 reported Wednesday that the estate, located on a vineyard outside of Los Angeles and across the 405 freeway from the Getty Museum, was "burning down".

No other wine producers have reported damage from the current fires, although many buildings in the area are now under threat from fire damage.

About 700 homes, an apartment building and a school were ordered evacuated.

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