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LA's Getty Center was built with fire protection in mind

07 December 2017
LA's Getty Center was built with fire protection in mind

By 8 a.m. the flames had reached homes in the wealthy Bel-Air neighborhood near UCLA.

Authorities in Los Angeles, California have ordered evacuations of almost 200,000 residents as the rampaging Skirball Fire began to consume homes and shut down part of Interstate 405, one of the busiest freeways in the US.

The Creek Fire was the second blaze to erupt.

The fire broke out before dawn Wednesday on the east side of Interstate 405 in the Sepulveda Pass and raced up steep slopes into neighbourhoods at the top.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said evacuation orders were affecting about 150,000 residents, but a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman put the number at around 120,000. "We are a resilient city, we are a strong city, we are a capable city".

The Skirball Fire in the area south of scenic Mulholland Drive and north of Sunset Boulevard is just one of several major out-of-control brush fires that have sprung up in Southern California since Monday, when Santa Ana wind conditions set in.

Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen, who both have homes in Los Angeles, took to Twitter to discuss the fires.

Some 500 firefighters are battling the fire along with water-dropping helicopters and airplanes laying down streams of fire retardant.

HollywoodLifers, if you're in the Los Angeles area, stay safe.

The fire has destroyed at least 30 homes and scorched 11,377 acres, authorities said. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

Some 1,000 firefighters battled to save homes, with one suffering a minor injury, Welsbie said. Residents living west of the 405 should brace for evacuations as well in the event the flames cross the freeway. Classes were canceled at all schools in the Ventura Unified School District on Wednesday.

The wind and the fires are expected to continue whipping up at least until the end of the day on Thursday, said Umansky. "With winds like this, it can be anything", Garcetti said, referring to the powerful Santa Ana winds that continued to blow across the region.

State fire authorities say the fire burning in Ventura County about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles is also considered a threat to 12,000 structures Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Police Department ordered mandatory evacuations and the California Department of Transportation closed Intereste 405 between Highway 101 and Interstate 10.