Hundreds of US firefighters were battling to save homes Tuesday as a dynamic brush fire driven by strong winds exploded to at least 4,000 acres in hours in Southern California.
The Skirball Fire prompted officials to order residents of the hilly, wooded area west of the Bel Air neighborhood out of their homes.
A dramatic 150-acre brush fire erupted Wednesday morning in the Sepulveda Pass area of Los Angeles, prompting mandatory evacuation orders and the complete closure of the 405 Freeway at the scene, authorities said.
"We are losing some property and that is tragic, but the most important thing is peoples' lives", said City Councilman Paul Koretz.
The crews were assigned to structure protection for both residential and business structures and could be in Los Angeles County for up to 14-days before returning home. UCLA announced classes were voluntary Wednesday and urged all faculty and students living off-campus to stay home.
A new fire burning among ridges and canyons on the west side of Los Angeles has also burned several homes while snarling morning commuter traffic.
Some 105 patients were being voluntarily evacuated from Mountain View Convalescent Center on Fenton Ave in Sylmar, said LAFD, noting that they had no reported injuries from any civilians. "Lord 'Be still, '" one Twitter user wrote. About 700 firefighters responded to what was labeled the Creek Fire.
Nicknamed the Skirball Fire, it was reported at 5 a.m. near Mulholland Drive, a five-minute drive from the Skirball Cultural Center.
The home of 21st Century Fox and Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch, located on a vineyard outside of Los Angeles, is "burning down" in Southern California's wildfires, according to an NBC News report on Wednesday.
The wind and the fires are expected to continue whipping up at least until the end of the day on Thursday, said Umansky. Wind speeds could increase in the coming days, reaching as much as 60 miles per hour through Thursday, officials said.
Three firefighters were injured and hospitalized in stable condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch's estate- which is one of the most expensive in the Los Angeles city limits- has also been evacuated.