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California wildfires grow in size as flames reach Rupert Murdoch vineyard

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Flames from a wildfire work their way down a slope behind a home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday where several celebrity homes are endanger

The fires rampaging across Southern California have ripped through a Bel-Air canyon in the hills above the University of California, Los Angeles, an elite enclave where backyard tennis courts are the norm and Rupert Murdoch owns a US$30 million vineyard estate.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Butler said firefighters and aircraft stopped the growth of the 475-acre blaze in the Bel Air neighbourhood. The property has been evacuated but based on what we're seeing on TV there may be damage to some buildings in the upper vineyard area.

Around 1:30p a firefighter with Los Angeles County drove by Murdoch's property and noticed a portion of his vineyards on fire with gray smoke filling the air.

Video from a local NBC New report Wednesday showed flames at the 21st Century Fox mogul's home.

"We believe the winery and house are still intact". Murdoch's property at 1050 Moraga Ave. was bought in August 2013 for $28.8 million from former Northrop Corp.

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

On Wednesday firefighters managed to stop the spread of a wildfire that has destroyed homes near the world-famous Getty museum in Los Angeles.

President Trump tweeted his thanks to first responders while writing that thoughts and prayers were with everyone in the fire's path.

Bloomberg reported that the property is within the current evacuation zone, and NBC is reporting that it has caught fire.

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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