LA Times re-publishes historic photos from 1961 Bel-Air Fire

Above: This photo by George Fry appeared on the front page of the Nov. 7, 1961, Los Angeles Times. This image and several others were recently scanned from the original negatives. LA Times Photo. 

The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday re-published a look-back piece about the 1961 Bel-Air fire that charred nearly 500 homes in a high-end, celebrity-packed part of the city.

In addition to the (fascinating) half-dozen photos dug up from the archives and republished, The LA Times coverage included this line:

“Among the most notorious California wildfires, the Bel-Air/Brentwood fire began in a trash heap…..a blaze that left hundreds of the rich and famous homeless in what LIFE magazine called ‘A Tragedy Trimmed in Mink’ and prompted brush clearance laws and an eventual city ban on wood shingle roofs.”

The brush fire started Nov. 5, 1961, and blackened more than 16,000 acres. Santa Ana winds fanned the flames.

Want more? Here’s some local news coverage from that pre-Twitter world (there’s plenty of other videos on the fire worth watching if you can’t quite get enough of a trip down memory lane on this Throwback Thursday).