(LOS ANGELES) — As winds reach extremely dangerous levels in Southern California, the Getty Fire in Los Angeles is exploding in size and forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes.
Burning in the hills north of Los Angeles’ famous Getty Center, the fire has consumed 500 acres. The Getty Center and Getty Villa are safe, but many houses were on fire.
Mandatory evacuations are in effect in Los Angeles from the 405 freeway to the ocean — which spans some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Southbound lanes of the 405 freeway, the busiest highway in the country, are now closed.
In Los Angeles’ upscale Brentwood neighborhood, fire crews put out fires on multiple homes early Monday as the sky glowed orange from the flames and dense smoke.
Horrible situation on #tigertail right now in #Brentwood – have counted 6 homes on fire and there’s likely more. The #GettyFire continued to burn out of control in the hills of Brentwood. Stay with @ABC7 for live coverage pic.twitter.com/u8IZM9eN1c
— Josh Haskell (@abc7JoshHaskell) October 28, 2019
LeBron James said he was among those forced to evacuate from his home overnight.
My best wishes as well to the first responders⛑ right now doing what they do best! 🙏🏾💪🏾
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2019
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s parents also evacuated, and the mayor Monday morning urged anyone in an evacuation area to leave immediately. He said he saw five homes destroyed.
“We’ve seen fires and tragedies were people have believed they could stay,” Garcetti said. “Do not do that. The only thing you cannot replace is you and your family.”
The cause of the quickly spreading blaze is under investigation but Garcetti said it was not caused by homeless encampments.
Throughout the day, the conditions in Los Angeles will be extremely dangerous for fire growth.
NIGHT BRUSH FIRE 10/28/19 @LACoFireAirOps Firehawk helicopter using night vision technology to assist @LAFD with the #GettyFire in the Sepulveda Pass. Follow @LAFD for updates. pic.twitter.com/CDsgGHVjUw
— LACoFireAirOps (@LACoFireAirOps) October 28, 2019
Dry Santa Ana winds are expected throughout the day, leaving Angelenos in an extremely critical fire risk area. Gusty winds and dry conditions can cause an existing fire to behave erratically and any spark could quickly expand into a major blaze.
Wind gusts already reached 66 mph in the Los Angeles area early Monday.
The Getty Fire is just one of the dangerous blazes burning in the Golden State.
In Northern California, the monster Kincade Fire has been burning since Wednesday night and has consumed over 66,000 acres in the heart of wine country.
All Sonoma County public schools are closed Monday and Tuesday due to the dangerous fire.
— Kevin John (@heykevinjohn) October 28, 2019
Rough winds, including a 93 mph gust, contributed to the Kincade Fire rapidly growing over the weekend. Containment fell from 10% to 5%.
Over 90 structures have been destroyed and tens of thousands are still threatened. Two firefighters have suffered burn injuries.
Winds are forecast to weaken in Northern California on Monday, but critical fire conditions are expected to return to the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing gusts up to 40 mph.
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