A dangerous new wildfire ignited early this morning near the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, causing thousands of people to evacuate their homes as firefighters continue to battle the blaze. The fire—dubbed the Getty Fire because it started near the Getty Center museum—broke out around 1:30 a.m. and began moving to the south and west, threatening homes in multiple neighborhoods, according to The Los Angeles Times. Hot, dry conditions and gusty winds have helped the fire swell to over 500 acres, and it has destroyed at least five structures, according to the latest report from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“It’s a dangerous season right now,” Los Angeles Fire Department chief Ralph Terrazas told The Los Angeles Times. “We have not had any significant rainfall for a period of time. That’s why we’re very concerned about these weather conditions.”
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The fire is moving westward through the Santa Monica Mountains, the LAFD reports. Six-hundred firefighters have been deployed to stop the blaze on foot, with the help of helicopters and water tanker aircraft. But they have their work cut out for them: The Getty Fire is currently zero percent contained, and weather conditions are expected to worsen, with winds increasing throughout the day. A mandatory evacuation order has been placed over a large area of hillside neighborhoods, including the homes of a few notable residents, like LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Man these LA aren’t no joke. Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms. No luck so far!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2019
We evacuated safely at 3:30 this morning. If you are in an evacuation zone, don’t screw around. Get out. Right now I am grateful for the best firefighters in the world, the true action heroes who charge into the danger to protect their fellow Californians. #GettyFire
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) October 28, 2019
In total, the fire threatens over 10,000 homes and businesses. L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti is urging people to obey the evacuation orders, and noted some people only have minutes to leave before the fire approached their homes, the Times reports.
“Get out when we say get out,” Garcetti said. “The only thing you cannot replace is you and your family.”
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The flames have also created a massive plume of smoke and ash that has blanketed parts of the west side of Los Angeles, and worsening air quality could become a serious issue for people far outside of the evacuation zone.
The Getty Fire is far from the only serious wildfire burning in California. In fact, another smaller fire, the Oak Fire, also started this morning to the west of the Getty Fire, according to the L.A. County Fire Department:
Battalion 5 units engaged in 2nd Alarm brush fire at Las Virgenes and the 101 Fwy in the City of Calabasas. Fire is currently at 10 acres with structures threatened. Monitor this feed for potential evacuation information. None at this time. This is the #OakFire Batt. 5 is Oak IC pic.twitter.com/InANjg7YPO
— L.A. County Fire Department (@LACoFDPIO) October 28, 2019
Fires are raging across the rest of the state, too, including the Tick Fire in Santa Clarita north of L.A. and the massive Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, which covers over 66,000 acres and is just 5 percent contained.