A wildfire ripped through Bel Air Wednesday morning, forcing residents to evacuate and threatening multimillion-dollar homes in the area, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Officials also issued a full closure of the 405 Freeway. All homes between Mulholland Drive to the north, Sunset Boulevard to the south, Roscomare Road to the east and the 405 to the west have been told to evacuate. Residents living west of the blaze were told to prepare to leave.
The Skirball fire began burning on the east side of the 405 around 5 a.m., near the Getty Center in Brentwood. Several hilltop homes were seen burning near Bel Terrace and North Sepulveda Boulevard, home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country.
The fire has been propelled by heavy Santa Ana winds — with gusts that could reach up to 60 mph — as well as the region’s dry climate. It was expected to reach roughly 50 acres by 8 a.m.
Farther norther, the Thomas fire in Ventura County had already reached the Pacific Ocean, ravishing 50,500 acres along the way and forcing 27,000 people to evacuate their homes. The Rye fire in Santa Clarita spread to 5,000 acres, while the Sylmar Creek fire made its way into Shadow Hills and Angeles National Forest. A smaller fire in San Bernardino had closed the 215 Freeway. [LAT] — Natalie Hoberman