Southern California is facing another wildfire crisis as a blaze burned in the early hours of Monday night in the Sepulveda Pass west of the 405 freeway, near the Getty Center museum.
The fire was described by the LAFD as creating “a very dynamic situation due to high winds,” with officials issuing mandatory evacuation orders that impacted more than 10,000 structures (both residential and commercial) in western Los Angeles County.
By 5 a.m. Monday, the Getty Fire had spread to over 400 acres and prompted the closure of all schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
The California Highway Patrol said homes in the area were being threatened and all off-ramps on the southbound side from Sepulveda to Sunset Boulevards were shut down. People were asked to avoid the 405 Freeway as firefighters battled the flames that were threatening homes.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger among the thousands of people forced to evacuate their homes.
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
Mount Saint Mary’s University evacuated its Chalon campus in the Brentwood neighborhood, as the flames also neared UCLA in Westwood.
The Getty Center museum, named after its founder billionaire J. Paul Getty, was built with protection against fire damage in mind. The museum’s official Twitter account posted that both the “Getty Center and Getty Villa remain SAFE from the #GettyFire, which is burning to the north and west of the Center,” although both museums were closed on Monday and full emergency response had been activated.
Getty Center and Getty Villa remain SAFE from the #GettyFire, which is burning to the north and west of the Center. Both Getty sites will be closed today (October 28, 2019). We have activated our full emergency response.
Our thoughts are with neighbors and first responders.
— J. Paul Getty Museum (@GettyMuseum) October 28, 2019