Skirball Fire burns 150 acres near Getty Museum

Dec 07, 2017, 01:21
Skirball Fire burns 150 acres near Getty Museum

Mandatory evacuations are in place in Bel Air this morning as a fast-moving brush fire that erupted near the 405 freeway near the Getty Center climbed up the hillside, threatening an unknown number of homes.

The fire was first reported around 5 a.m.at the northbound 405 at Mulholland Drive. Residents in Sullivan Canyon and Mandeville Canyon were told to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

More than 350 firefighters were deployed to the scene along with 52 fire engines and six aircraft, officials said.

"We are losing some property and that is tragic, but the most important thing is peoples' lives", said City Councilman Paul Koretz.

Simultaneously, other wildfires are blazing in different parts of the Southland including the 65,000-acre Thomas fire in Ventura County, the 11,000-acre Creek fire near Sylmar and Lake View Terrace and the 7,000-acre Rye fire in Santa Clarita area, ABC7 reported. UCLA announced classes were voluntary Wednesday and urged all faculty and students living off-campus to stay home. Residents living west of the 405 should brace for evacuations as well in the event the flames cross the freeway. This is now the fifth fire burning in the region.

"Today was the scariest morning commute of my life", one person wrote alongside a jaw-dropping photo.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, freeing state funds and resources to assist the more than 1,000 firefighters battling the flames around the clock.

UPDATE (9:50 am) Up to 150 acres and 0% contained.

Huge, fast-spreading wildfires in southern California have already destroyed at least 200 homes.

The wind and the fires are expected to continue whipping up at least until the end of the day on Thursday, said Umansky. Wind speeds could increase in the coming days, reaching as much as 60 miles per hour through Thursday, officials said. Kim said, "I pray everyone in Los Angeles is safe from these fires and THANK YOU to all of the fire fighters working so hard to keep everyone safe!"

"These are days that break your heart but also days that shows the resilience of our city", he said.

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