Fire damages Rupert Murdoch estate

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

"Right now, we're experiencing favorable wind conditions".

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.

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.

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Tanden was then asked by a Twitter user, "You seriously hope that your political appointees have their homes burned down?" 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.

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.

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

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Murdoch reportedly paid $28.8 million in 2013 to purchase the Moraga Estate vineyard; he discovered in the "Mansion" section of the Wall Street Journal, one of the newspapers the Australian-born media mogul owns.

Ms Langer said it appeared the seven acres of vines suffered only slight damage and the grapes already had been harvested. The fire has burned more than 150 acres and destroyed at least six homes. "It's Rupert Murdoch's property, that's what we're hearing from the neighbors who live here in Bel Air".

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

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