Several homes in the Bel-Air neighborhood had caught fire.
As a raging conflagration now called the Skirball Fire engulfed the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday morning, December 6, the nearby Getty Center and its fabled J. Paul Getty Museum appeared to be safe for the time being.
What is the Skirball fire?
The fire was reported just before 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Shortly after 6 a.m., mandatory evacuations were ordered for Moraga Drive, Linda Flora Drive, and Casiano Road, down to Bellagio Road, according to the LAFD.
Many schools and local businesses in both counties have been closed.
Map showing the location of the Skirball Fire that started early Wednesday morning in Los Angeles.
Sepulveda Pass carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains between the western neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley to the north. "All Getty buildings have sophisticated filtration systems, but their effectiveness can be compromised by heavy traffic going in and out of the buildings".
"A couple of families from my daughter's school live in that road", he said.
All northbound lanes of the 405 near the Getty Center have been closed until further notice.
The house, featured recently in Los Angeles Magazine, was in "immediate danger" he said.
Our thoughts are with those affected by this terrible fire. "Right now there is no threat here but everywhere you go now, there are embers in the air; it's very hard to breathe, and it looks like the end of the world".
Cal Fire has been explaining the hazards of the fire and the effects of wind on the blaze.
Los Angeles Fire Dispatcher Margaret Stewart said the fire could grow with winds blowing at over 25 miles per hour.
"This is a very critical situation", she said.
Interstate 405 (I-405) is a major north-south Interstate Highway in Southern California.
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