LOS ANGELES: A wind-whipped wildfire raged on Wednesday into a wealthy Southern California neighborhood, destroying at least six homes, threatening hundreds more and scorching a building at a winery owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The so-called Skirball Fire, which erupted early on Wednesday morning as the latest in a rash of major blazes fueled by hot, dry Santa Ana winds, had burned about 150 acres near large estates in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles by early afternoon and was only 5 percent contained.

Firefighters battled to save multimillion-dollar homes in the path of the flames, which also forced the closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway in both directions, and warned that if the winds picked up again in the evening the situation could become even more dire.

“We are expecting some extreme wind behavior this evening,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

Murdoch’s…

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