A growing brush fire was threatening thousands of homes in Brentwood and other Westside hillside communities, burning several structures and prompting widespread evacuations.
“We have homes that we believe are lost , ”Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters at a televised news conference shortly after 5 am He urged residents to leave if they’re under mandatory evacuation orders, saying some residents had only 15 minutes to flee. “Get out when we say get out,” he said, urging homeowners to not try to fight the fire with garden hoses.
The Getty fire broke out along the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center and was spreading to the south and west. The mandatory evacuation zone was described by fire officials as a box: Mulholland Drive on the north side, the 405 on the east, Sunset Boulevard on the south and Temescal Canyon Road on the west.
Mary’s University was surrounded by flames, and a campus spokeswoman said all 450 students have been safely evacuated to the school’s Doheny campus near downtown.
The fire has burned 400 acres , and 3, 300 homes were under mandatory evacuation orders. Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott said officials were most concerned about Mandeville Canyon, the Brentwood area around Bundy Drive and Mountaingate.
(said) Scott said at least two homes have burned.
Fire officials advised residents outside the mandatory zone but in the area to prepare to evacuate. UCLA and other areas east of the 405 are not under an evacuation warning.
“We have an active and growing brush fire,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an advisory. “For those living in this area, you must be prepared to evacuate.”
“This is a very dynamic situation due to high winds and information is quickly developing,” the Fire Department said. “Stay vigilant.”
Chad Elbert, 43, FaceTimed his wife from Mulholland and Walt Disney drives, where he had pulled over to get a look at the fire early Monday. The couple live a mile up the road and had woken up to the emergency alerts on their phones before 3 am
They couldn’t smell smoke from where they lived and wondered whether they’d end up being
“It’s a risk you take living out here,” Elbert said.
When the couple first bought their home in 2017, the Skirball fire broke out four days later. Although they didn’t evacuate, they were packed and ready to go.
In the predawn darkness Monday, Elbert watched the flames from a safe distance.
“It’s very surreal, ”he said. “It’s like a scene out of a movie.”
People also described harrowing escapes on social media.
“Had to evacuate. I’m okay for most part, but coughing … and it’s hard to breathe. Fire right next to campus, ”one person said on Twitter.
Evacuation centers have been opened at the Westwood Recreation Center at 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd . and the Van Nuys / Sherman Oaks Recreation Center at 14201 Huston St.
Helicopters and aircraft were making night drops along the fire line in their fight to protect homes.
The fire was threatening some of Los Angeles’ most affluent neighborhoods. Among those evacuated was Lakers star LeBron James, whosaid on Twitter: “Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms.
Authorities were driving through neighborhood streets with flashing emergency lights ordering residents to evacuate.
The California Highway Patrol advised motorists to avoid the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass. Portions of Sepulveda Boulevard were also closed.
The blaze erupted shortly before 2 a.m. Monday and the cause is not known, fire officials said.
Avideo posted on Twitterby Flavio Chávez at 1: 45 am showed flames burning on one side of the freeway.
In Southern California, a Santa Ana wind event began Sunday night and was expected to last through Monday with isolated gusts of up to 60 mph in the Los Angeles County mountains and humidity levels as low as 5%, causing officials to issue red-flag warnings.
“Potential for very rapid fire spread, long range spotting and extreme fire behavior with any new fire ignitions,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory.
Temperatures in the area were about 59 degrees. Around 2: 30 am, winds in the Sepulveda Pass area seemed to be calm, but humidity levels were about 12% and winds in the central Santa Monica Mountains were blowing about 10 mph to 20 mph.