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Rupert Murdoch’s Estate Damaged by California Wildfire

The wildfires that are raging throughout California have impacted the Bel Air estate of Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch issued a statement Wednesday through the Twitter account for his Moraga Bel Air winery, saying, “The situation at Moraga Bel Air is very fluid at the moment. 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. We believe the winery and house are still intact. We are monitoring the sitation as closely as we can and are grateful for 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 time.”

A Moraga employee reached by phone Wednesday morning said that all employees had been evacuated, but could not confirm whether the property or its facilities had been directly impacted by the fire.

Video from a local NBC New report Wednesday showed flames at the 21st Century Fox mogul’s home. Later Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the fire had grown near Murdoch’s estate, but had not burned the property’s buildings or vineyard.

Murdoch’s property at 1050 Moraga Ave. was bought in August 2013 for $28.8 million from former Northrop Corp. CEO Tom Jones. Part of the property was once a horse ranch owned by Victor Fleming. The estate is nearly 16 acres acres with 13 acres of grapevines. The main residence is 7,724 square foot and the property includes a two bedroom guest house and a 4,400 square-foot office building.

The Skirball fire has burned more than 150 acres as Santa Ana winds continue to create dangerous conditions. Mandatory evacuations were put into effect Wednesday morning in Bel Air. The fire has burned more than 150 acres and destroyed at least six homes.

Updated at 2:47 p.m. with new statement from Murdoch.

Mark David contributed to this report.

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