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.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was working to evacuate residents near the area of Lopez Canyon and Kagel Canyon, according to LA County Fire.
North winds of 8 to 14 miles per hour and a relative humidity in the low 20's caused the fire to spread rapidly to the south.
The fire was reported at around 4:50 a.m. local time, according to CBS News.
The Los Angeles Police Department ordered mandatory evacuations and the California Department of Transportation closed Intereste 405 between Highway 101 and Interstate 10.
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The latest California fires come just two months after wildfires in the northern part of the state were blamed for an estimated $3 billion in damage.
If the fire crosses the 405 freeway, it will hit one of the highest priced residential areas of Brentwood, she added. Residents for the area east of the 405, Mulholland to the North, Sunset to the South and Rosomare to the East were warned to prepare for an evacuation.
Schools are closed. All schools in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District are closed Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, as are the following Los Angeles Unified School District campuses: Roscomare Road Elementary, Community Elementary Magnet Charter School and Kenter Canyon Elementary School.
The area is in the vicinity of the devastating 1961 "Bel Air fire" that destroyed about 500 homes.
The Skirball Center shuttered and said it would remain closed until further notice.