National News

Blaze Breaks Out Near Getty Center in Los Angeles

Posted December 6, 2017 10:43 a.m. EST

A brush fire erupted on the west side of Los Angeles before dawn Wednesday, threatening some of the city’s priciest homes and blocking traffic on one of its busiest freeways, while a much larger fire continued to rage out of control in the Ventura area.

The new fire ignited near Interstate 405 in the Bel Air neighborhood, forcing authorities to close the northbound lanes of the highway, one of the major links between the bulk of the city and the San Fernando Valley. With Santa Ana winds whipping from the east, the blaze posed a risk of jumping across the road, where it would threaten the Getty Center museum and the Brentwood neighborhood.

To the north, in Ventura County, a fire that broke out Monday and grew to 50,000 acres Tuesday continued to burn unabated, and had destroyed at least 150 structures, state officials said — and possibly many more. Evacuation orders covering thousands of people were in effect for parts of the city of Ventura, and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency.

Parts of U.S. Route 101, along with many smaller roads, were closed to traffic.

California has seen some of its most destructive fires ever this year. In October, even as more than a dozen fires broke out in the northern part of the state, a separate one quickly grew in Anaheim Hills, burning through thousands of acres. The fires have collectively killed more than 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.