Skirball Fire burns 150 acres near Getty Museum

An image shows the scene on the morning commute for drivers in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning

In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Creek Fire had blackened more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent center north of Interstate 210.

The Creek Fire has destroyed 11 homes and injured two firefighters, KTLA reported. The Skirball Fire was spread across at least 150 acres at last estimate, authorities said.

The Skirball fire is 5% contained after burning 475 acres, destroying at least four homes and damaging other structures in Bel-Air, according to an update released Thursday morning.

More than 350 firefighters were deployed to the scene along with 52 fire engines and six aircraft, officials said.

Here in Orange County, a good 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, there is no sign of the wildfires that are raging north of the city. The Getty Center and the Getty Villa, which are free to visit, were closed on Wednesday except for essential staff because of the fires and smoke. Blake Chow reminded Southlanders that red flag parking restrictions were still in place in the Hollywood and West Los Angeles areas, which are meant to keep streets open for firefighting equipment.

It is one of the smaller of several wildfires burning in the Los Angeles area, but it is in a relatively densely populated area that includes the tony neighborhood of Bel Air and borders the campus of UCLA.

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"These are days that break your heart, but these are also days that show the resilience of our city", he said.

Commanders hoped to have them back in the air on Wednesday morning, but all indications are the winds will be whipping then too. Those who've evacuated will not be allowed to return home, police said.

The largest and most destructive of the blazes, an 85-square-mile wildfire in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, had almost reached the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday night after starting 30 miles inland a day earlier.

The cause of the fires and the difficulty with containing them is attributed to the Santa Ana winds. The plants with the highest water content are closest to the buildings, and farther out groundskeepers are constantly clearing brush, Hartwig said.

The Getty Center and the nearby Skirball Center, both on the west side of the freeway, did not appear to be threatened, though both will remain closed Thursday.

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