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Fire near Bel-Air, Getty Museum in Los Angeles



Interstate 405, near the elegant Bel-Air area of ​​Los Angeles, reopened Wednesday afternoon after a fire triggered evacuations. It was one of a series of fires that have burned more than 83,000 acres, burned dozens of buildings and forced tens of thousands of people to flee for three days.

Police closed 9 miles off I-405, one of the busiest highways in the country – in both directions for much of the day after the flames descended the foothills toward the highway, near the Sepulveda Pass and the Getty Center arts complex, while the stunned motorists passed before dawn.

UCLA, a few miles south of the fire, said it believed its campus was safe, but canceled classes in the afternoon and afternoon due to difficult traffic conditions. He also canceled his men's basketball home against Montana .

"It was dark until I saw a giant orange ball," wrote motorist I-405 Tiffany Lynette Anderson on Instagram where she placed a picture of raging fire along the road before it closed . "In absolute fire, I'm grateful to be sure, truly grateful."

"I could feel the heat in my windows," said Los Angeleno Joy Newcomb, who also drove by the fire.

By 9 am, the southbound lanes of that stretch – from Ventura Freeway to I-10 – were reopened, but the northbound lanes remained closed.

Videos before sunrise of the 150-acre fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire because of its proximity to the Skirball Cultural Center [Centro Cultural Skirball] showed bright flames glowing ominously close to motorists. The fire occurred on the other side of the road from both the Skirball museum and the Getty museum .

Los Angeles authorities ordered to leave parts of the Bel-Air district near the fire, but those are only a fraction of the evacuations that were ordered in Southern California since Monday by the night.

Windswept forest fires are burning extremely dry land along the northern and western edges of Los Angeles, and more extensively, Ventura County, northwest of the city, for a third day.

Live Updates: Wildfires Scattered in Southern California

The strong winds of Santa Ana accused of spreading the hells still threaten to multiply the destruction.

Winds are expected to pick up on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, perhaps with gusts of 50 mph, which represents a risk of further spread.

Smoke collected even in areas that were not burning. Health officials warned people in the densely populated San Fernando Valley and other parts of northern Los Angeles that limited their time outdoors .

The fires threw so much smoke that they were captured in a NASA image from space.

Latest developments

The biggest fire: The biggest fire is the Thomas fire in Ventura County, burning at least 65,000 acres, including parts of Ventura, a city of more than 100,000 people along the Pacific coast. It started on Monday night in a rural area and spread to the city. Authorities said the fire destroyed at least 150 buildings, including an evacuated mental health facility.

• Curfew promulgated: On Tuesday, the city of Ventura declared a daily curfew, starting at 10 p.m. at 5 a.m., to protect residents and avoid crimes such as looting in evacuation areas.

• You are told to leave: Some 50,000 people in Ventura County have been told or warned to evacuate. More than 12,000 buildings were under threat, officials said Wednesday.

Creek Fire in North Los Angeles: The second largest is the Creek Fire, having burned about 11,000 acres in and near the northern Los Angeles neighborhoods of Sylmar and Tujunga since it began Tuesday morning. Seven firefighters suffered injuries that are not considered dangerous to life.

• Massive Exodus: About 150,000 people in Los Angeles were subjected to evacuation orders on Tuesday. Wednesday's number, after orders given due to the fire near I-405, was not immediately clear.

Fuego Skirball: The fire that closed parts of I-405 has destroyed four buildings, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said

• Trump Tweet: President Donald Trump, on Twitter, said on Wednesday that "his thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of California forest fires" and thanked the first responders.

• Blackout: About 43,000 homes were without electricity Tuesday night, according to Southern California Edison. More disruptions are possible because the flames were burning on the power transmission roads, a spokeswoman said.

Closing of schools : more than 80 The public and autonomous schools of Los Angeles closed on Wednesday, as were numerous schools in Ventura County.

Other fires: The rye fire near Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County grew to approximately 7,000 acres. That fire was discovered near the Magic Mountain of Six Flags in Valencia.

In San Bernardino County, two smaller fires erupted. One is completely contained, while Little Mountain Fire has 34 acres.

The fire could continue for days

The Thomas fire encompassed 65,000 acres (approximately 101 square miles) in Ventura County, located just north and west of Los Angeles.

Officials said they could not give a precise number of destroyed houses, because the flames in the burnt-out neighborhoods were still too intense to be examined. But they had estimated around 150 buildings early Tuesday. [19659003] On Wednesday, a line of fire burned hills towards the Pacific coast.

The embers in the air irritated the eyes of firefighters, said Rich Macklin, spokesman for Ventura County firefighters.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared an emergency for Ventura County, freeing state resources such as the National Guard to support the response efforts.

& # 39; What now? & # 39;

In Ventura County, fires swept the neighborhoods on Monday and Tuesday, ravaging homes, reducing them to gray burning deadly debris. He also burned Vista del Mar Hospital an 82-bed mental health center in northwest Ventura, which had been evacuated two hours earlier, Macklin said.

Natalie Horn and her husband fled their home in Ventura around 9:00: 30 a.m. on Tuesday. An hour later, his house burned on the ground.

When the couple arrived late in the afternoon to see what was happening, she let out a deep sob.

Her husband grabbed her hard.

"It's all gone." Horn cried.

The couple said they had just moved out a year ago.

"It took a lot of work and we took on a lot of debt to get this home." Horn said, eyes red with tears.

"Now what?"

I will not be a victim, says the man standing in the rubble

Sergio Barbosa has suffered waves of emotions. On Tuesday he tried to return to the house where he had lived most of his life, but the police did not let him into the neighborhood.

Then he and a friend walked and found a neighbor with a golf cart that Barbosa received.

He had woken up that morning, one day after the evacuation, with a bad feeling. As they approached his address, he worried, "Please, do not let it be my house."

It was, and it was gone.

The home that his mother had helped build, where years of memories were made and stored, there were white debris and melted shells in what used to be a kitchen.

I was angry and sad. He was also relieved. He had his answer.

And "… at the end of the day I'm alive, my roommates are alive," he said.

He says he will not allow the fire to make him a victim, even if all he has left are some clothes and some personal effects. And he will rebuild – "twice as nice" – in the neighborhood he loves.

"I'm not going to let an incident scare me," he said.

The winds that caused the fire were part of the " strongest and longest event of the season" of Santa Ana . Santa Anas are strong, dry winds that high-pressure systems push from east to west, from the mountains and desert areas to the Los Angeles area.

A red flag warning, which is for extreme weather conditions that could cause forest fires, is valid until 8 p. m. Friday.

The-CNN-Wire
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Video produced by Summer Delaney


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