Hours regs suspended for certain drivers in wake of California wildfire

New Fire Threatens Getty Center/405 Freeway

New Fire Threatens Getty Center/405 Freeway

Out-of-control wildfires are raging in and near Los Angeles.

The freeway was likely to be impacted for the rest of the morning, Stewart said.

The flames have swallowed some 80,000 acres in just over a day since the "Thomas" fire, now the state's largest, broke out, leaving at least one dead in an area about 45 minutes from downtown LA.

As the flames approached the elite San Luis Rey Downs training facility for thoroughbreds, numerous more than 450 horses were cut loose to prevent them from being trapped in their stables if barns caught fire, said Mac McBride of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said more than 230,000 people had been forced from their homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

As the Bel-Air hillside burned, Kristina Keefe waited at a gas station with her pit bull Gunnar to see if she would be allowed to return to her Bellagio Road home.

By Thursday winds gusts should increase to around 30 to 50 miles per hour along with low humidity, "which means very, very dry conditions, very windy conditions. which is a recipe for explosive fire growth", Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Wednesday evening.

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Later in the day, she said police officers indicated they would be reopening her street, but by then she had decided her Palm Springs domicile was the better option. Several other homes were in jeopardy and flames surrounded the Getty Center, a museum campus atop a hill featuring art, architecture and gardens.

That's what scientists say happened in Southern California in recent days as at least four serious fires spread in scattered locations across Ventura and Los Angeles counties, prompting thousands to evacuate and freeways like the 405 to partially close.

Residents of wealthy LA neighborhoods between Mulholland Drive to the north and Sunset Boulevard to the south were part of the evacuation zone.

A cloud of black smoke was creeping across the city with a large, dark column rising into the air, leaving authorities concerned about the poor quality of air that was unbreathable in some places.

"We're encouraging people not to exercise outside".

"Right now, Northern California is turning green and you've had quite a bit of rain, so the season there is at least seriously diminished", Hodge said.

The acclaimed Getty arts institution - home to masterpieces including those by Edouard Manet - was closed until at least Thursday.

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"Air filtration systems are protecting the galleries from smoke", the museum tweeted.

A fire department helicopter makes a water drop building on the vineyard estate of media mogul Rupert Murdoch catches fire during the Skirball fire in Bel Air, a wealthy neighborhood on the west side of Los Angeles, California, on December 6, 2017. A full list of closed schools was available at www.lausd.net.

Most of Ojai's 7,000 residents were warned to clear out late Wednesday and patients unable to walk were moved from the Ojai Valley Community Hospital because of unprecedented, hurricane-force Santa Ana winds in the overnight forecast.

"The greatest threat is and continues to be the wind", he said, noting that the Santa Ana winds are expected to keep blowing through Friday.

"Mutual aid is not a problem for us", said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Gustavo Medina, whose agency is leading the fight against the Rye and Creek fires.

Kelly Huston, deputy director of crisis communications for the California Office of Emergency Services, said Southern California firefighters were getting help "basically from all over the state".

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