Winds Stoke Wild Fires Burning Out of Control Near Los Angeles

Joann Johnston
December 7, 2017

"All Getty buildings have sophisticated filtration systems, but their effectiveness can be compromised by heavy traffic going in and out of the buildings".

A helicopter drops water on a portion of the Skirball fire that threatened several homes along Linda Flora Drive in Bel-Air.

What's being called the "Skirball" fire for its location near the Skirball Cultural Center is covering 150 acres in Los Angeles-a separate blaze from the "Thomas" fire that broke out near Ventura earlier this week and has burned over 65,000 acres so far, The New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, wildfires continue to ravage Ventura County: "The blaze has consumed 50,500 acres on its journey to the ocean".

All northbound lanes of the 405 were closed at Bel Air Crest Road. The 405 Freeway was blocked from the 101 Freeway to the 10 Freeway on both sides, including all on and off ramps.

There are no reports of injuries, but the flames are dangerously close to the Getty Center and buildings nearby. Video of the fires show that 4-6 homes in Bel Air have already begun to burn.

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"This is the start a multiple-day weather event so we're not through this yet", Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters at a briefing. The Rye fire shut down Interstate 5, the state's major north-south artery, although it reopened later. Along with the lack of much-needed rain, the Santa Ana winds have made it very hard to contain and put out the fires.

The Creek fire was listed at 11,000 acres.

Winds in the area were blowing at about 25 miles per hour, according to the Fire Department.

Officials also issued a full closure of the 405 Freeway.

Santa Monica-Malibu, Los Angeles Unified School District and Conejo Unified School District closed on Wednesday, along with Oakwood School and Marymount High School.

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