A new wildfire ignited early Wednesday morning on the hillside along Interstate 405 near the Getty Center in Los Angeles, one of several fires burning in Southern California, according to multiple media reports.
Fueled by high winds, the blaze dubbed the Creek fire was reported at 3:42 a.m. near Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which was assisting the U.S. Forest Service and the Los Angeles Fire Department in battling the flames.
Winds in the area were blowing at about 25 miles per hour, according to the Fire Department.
The 405, a major freeway servicing Los Angeles, has completely shut down between the 101 and the 10 freeways due to the spreading fire. The Creek Fire north of downtown Los Angeles has burned 11,000 acres, while the smaller Rye Fire burned 7,000 acres.
As beleaguered Southern California firefighters confronted yet another new brush fire on Wednesday morning, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said his crews are exhausted.
Mandatory evacuation orders were also issued.
"These are the kind of conditions that keep public safety officials up at night", said Janet Upton, deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. "There's nothing you can do except get out".
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A raging wildfire fueled by high winds created an incredible - and terrifying - sight for morning commuters Wednesday on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. The fire is not contained in the slightest.
The fire was burning in the same general area as the devastating Bel-Air Fire of 1961.
Hartwig, who was on site on Wednesday along with about 100 essential staff members, said he was still concerned that heavy winds might blow across the highway toward the Getty. The Santa Anas are strong, dry winds that high-pressure systems push from east to west, from the mountains and desert areas down into the Los Angeles area.
"Air filtration systems are protecting the galleries from smoke", the museum tweeted.
This is now the fifth fire burning in the region.
"We don't have a good feel on which direction this fire is heading", Stewart said.
The Conejo Valley Unified School District is closing all schools.
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