This is a story of developing forest fires. Please check the updates frequently.
A fire that erupted near the Getty Center early Wednesday burned at least four houses, prompted mandatory evacuation orders in some of Los Angeles' most affluent neighborhoods and temporarily closed a large portion of the busy 405 Freeway.
The Skirball Fire began near Highway 405 and Mulholland Drive just before 5 am, said Margaret Stewart, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
It was estimated at 475 acres and 5% containment at 3:00 p.m. LAFD Deputy Chief Chuck Butler, the commander of the incident, said at a press conference in the afternoon.
No civilians or firefighters have been injured, but four houses have been destroyed and 11 damaged.
The fire was fanned by winds from the northeast of the morning, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, said earlier in the day.
"These are days that break your heart, but these are also days that show the resilience of our city," he said.
The mayor declared Wednesday in the afternoon a local state of emergency in response to the Skirball fire.
46,000 people are affected by the evacuations, Butler said.
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for residents within the following limits: south of Mulholland Drive, east of Highway 405, north of Sunset Boulevard and west of Roscomare Road.
Six avio Fixed-state events are dispersing horseshoe-shaped retardant around the fire. and several helicopters are responding, said Garcetti.
"Obviously, they are very stretched," the mayor said of Cal Fire's resources to help local agencies.
LAFD chief Ralph Terrazas said the city prioritizes where to place firefighters as the department faces a week of critical fire weather due to the fierce Santa Ana winds and low humidity.
"We are in the middle of a week-long red flag, we are not finished," said Terrazas. "My firefighters have been working since Sunday, our people are getting tired."
Aerial video of Sky5 showed the fire burning on the east side of the highway; The Getty Center is located west of Highway 405.
One SigAlert expanded at 6:45 a.m., closing the highway in both directions from Highway 10 to Highway 101, the CHP said. The southbound lanes reopened at 9 am. As of 9:30 am, the ramps along Highway 405 to the north are closed on Highway 10 to Mulholland Drive, and 405 ramps to the south are closed from Mulholland to Sunset Boulevard, a CHP spokesperson said. .
Shortly after 1 pm, traffic began to flow again towards Highway 405 of the highway.
Traffic was also congested on Roscomare Road and surrounding residential streets, LAPD said, asking drivers to avoid the area.
Winds in the area were blowing at a speed of 15 to 25 mph, according to the Fire Department.
"We do not have a good idea of which direction this fire is going," Stewart said.
The fire is burning in an area similar to the 1961 Bel-Air fire, which destroyed more than 500 homes and stopped with favorable wind conditions, Terrazas said. That fire caused many changes in the city's policy to prevent the spread of fires.
In the case of Skirball Fire, the favorable climate will also be crucial to stop the fire, said Terrazas.
The following schools and districts will also be closed on Wednesday:
- The Conejo Valley Unified School District is closing all schools.
- The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is closing all schools.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District is closing Roscomare Road Elementary School, Community Magnet Charter School and Kenter Canyon Elementary School and many other schools. A complete list is here.
- Brentwood School
- Curtis School
- St. Martin of Tours Elementary School
- American Jewish University
- Windward School
Evacuation centers have been established at the following locations:
- Delano Recreation Center, 15100 Erwin
- Balboa Recreation Center, 17015 Burbank  ] Van Nuys Recreation Center Sherman Oaks, 14201 Huston
- Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 Sepulveda Blvd.
- Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2551 Motor Ave.
The city's Skirball Fire website is updated periodically. It is at: emergency.lacity.org/skirball-fire.
The Getty Center will close on Wednesday due to forest fires burning in southern California.
The Skirball Cultural Center announced that it will also close on Wednesday. Anyone with tickets will be reimbursed, according to the messages on their Twitter .
The fire started when teams dispersed through southern California fighting several wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, the Fire Creek and the Fire Rye.
Meteorologists are calling for another afternoon of gusts of wind, which will help fuel the fire on Wednesday.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
"With winds like these, it can be anything," Garcetti said.