Fwy reopens after 'Skirball Fire' destroys homes near Getty Center


Los Angeles Mission College's Main Campus at 13356 Eldridge Ave. and the East Campus at 12890 Harding St., both in Sylmar, were closed for the day, but there was no immediate word if classes would resume today. The Skirball Fire encompasses parts of Bel Air, Holmby Hills, and Brentwood, and is affecting the surrounding food-friendly neighborhoods, including Westwood.

About 2,500 homes are still under threat and about 900 firefighters are battling the blaze, said Los Angeles County fire inspector Gustavo Medina. The number Wednesday, after the orders given because of the fire near I-405, wasn't immediately clear.

Local news affiliate NBC4 reported Wednesday that the estate, located on a vineyard outside of Los Angeles and across the 405 freeway from the Getty Museum, was "burning down". News videos show multiple homes are burning. At least 150 structures - including one large apartment complex and the Vista Del Mar Hospital, a psychiatric facility - were consumed by flames.

"The embers from the trees were dropping on our cars", said Mary Robinson, a Ventura resident, who fled Monday night.

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Speaking through tears, she told CNN affiliate KABC, "We've been watching all these disasters on TV, you really don't think about when it happens to you, and what do you pack in that moment?"

It was reported at six acres but quickly grew to at least 50 acres as crews were working against 25 miles per hour winds. The fire quickly devoured dry chaparral, as the county has been in a period of moderate drought.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said they're trying to "stop this fire before it becomes something bigger" like the Bel Air fire of 1961.

LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas noted that red flag conditions are expected to remain in effect at least through Friday, with gusting Santa Ana winds presenting a continuing danger of rapidly spreading blazes.