Rupert Murdoch’s $28.8 Million Bel Air Vineyard Damaged by California Wildfire

The Skirball Fire continues to damage structures in Southern California

The Skirball Fire in Bel Air has damaged multi-billionaire media mogul and acting Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch’s $28.8 million Moraga Vineyards estate. According to the Los Angeles Times, a firefighter drove by the property around 1:30 p.m. on December 6 when he noticed thick smoke from a portion of the 16-acre vineyard that had caught fire. After radioing for backup, five additional firefighters arrived on scene to assess the flames. By 2 p.m., three loads of water had been dropped via helicopter onto the fire to no avail.

“The situation at Moraga Bel Air is very fluid at the moment,” Murdoch wrote in a statement posted to the winery’s Twitter account. “The property was evacuated but based on what we are seeing on TV there may be damage to some buildings in the upper vineyard area. We believe the winery and house are still intact. We are monitoring the situation as closely as we can and are grateful to the efforts of all the first responders. Some of our neighbors have suffered heavy losses and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.”

It’s unclear just how much damage the vineyard suffered or how much product had been lost. Murdoch, who once called climate change “alarmist nonsense” and whose media empire has often championed that view, is being mocked on social media by those who consider global warming a significant issue.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Skirball blaze covered 475 acres and was only 20 percent contained as of the morning of December 7. Other prominent names who reside in Bel Air include Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chelsea Handler, Dr. Dre, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Aniston.

The blaze has also threatened the Getty Museum, which is now closed to the public. The organization tweeted that its artwork remains untouched, as the center was “designed to be the safest place to protect our collections” with air filtration systems ridding the building of smoke.

Other area closures include The Bel-Air, a contemporary American restaurant in Sepulveda Pass, and three Carl’s Jr. joints (five others are experiencing power outages), according to Nation’s Restaurant News. A representative of Hotel Bel-Air, home to celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s fine-dining namesake, told The Daily Meal the establishment remains open and unharmed.

To prepare for the possibility of future dire situations, here are 17 healthy foods to stock in case of an emergency.