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All evacuations lifted as crews continue containment effort for Getty Fire

As of Friday morning, the fire has burned 745 acres, destroyed 10 homes and damaged 15 others. The blaze was 66% contained.
Credit: AP
Firefighters work on a house destroyed by a wildfire called the Getty Fire in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

LOS ANGELES, Calif — Update: 11 a.m. Nov. 1
Acres burned: 745
Containment: 66
%
Initial Location:
West of I-405 near Getty Museum in Los Angeles
Start date:
October 28, 2019 at approximately 1:30 a.m.
Structures Affected: Ten structures destroyed; 15 have been damaged.
Cause: The fire was deemed an accidental start by investigators, caused by a tree branch that broke off and subsequently landed in nearby powerlines during high wind conditions.
Evacuations:
Live Map of mandatory and warnings
Twitter Hashtags:
#GettyFire

11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1

All remaining evacuation orders stemming from the Getty Fire in the Sepulveda Pass were lifted Friday as crews made significant progress extending containment lines around the five-day-old blaze.

"Weather is proving to be more favorable over the next couple of days with weak offshore winds of 10-15 mph expected," according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The agency noted, however, "A low relative humidity trend will continue through much of the next week across Southern California. Conditions remain favorable for dangerous fire growth and behavior."

As of Friday morning, the fire has charred 745 acres, destroyed 10 homes and damaged 15 others. Four firefighters have suffered minor injuries. The blaze was 66% contained.

At the height of the fire, evacuation orders affected 10,000 homes and commercial buildings and stretched from the San Diego (405) Freeway west to Temescal Canyon Road, between Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive. The evacuation area was dramatically reduced late Wednesday, leaving only a handful of Brentwood-area neighborhoods affected. Those remaining evacuation orders were lifted Friday morning.

About 600 firefighters remained on the lines Friday.

A red flag warning of critical fire conditions expired at 6 p.m. Thursday for much of the Southland, but it will remain in effect until 6 p.m. today for the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Clarita Valley and the Angeles National Forest.

National Weather Service forecasters said "weaker and more localized winds" are expected through today, and "they should be just strong enough to keep critical conditions going through Friday in the windiest locations."

The weather service forecast winds in the affected area of 15 to 25 mph, gusting up to 35 mph, coupled with dry conditions -- humidity levels of 2 to 8%.

Fire officials had expressed fear about the gusting winds potentially sparking flare-ups within the Getty Fire area, or carrying smoldering embers to new locations and setting off new blazes.

Meanwhile, all Los Angeles Unified School District that had been closed after the fire erupted early Monday will be open Friday.

All schools in Malibu also reopened Friday, according to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

Evacuation centers that were established at Westwood Recreation Center at 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd., and the Palisades Recreation Center, 851 Alma Real Drive, were closed Thursday evening.

Evacuation centers for animals were established at the West Valley Animal Shelter at 20655 Plummer St., and the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter at 11361 Pico Blvd. Hansen Dam Recreation Center at 11770 Foothill Blvd. in Lake View Terrace was opened to receive large animals.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday afternoon the Getty Fire was caused by gusting winds that severed a tree branch and blew it into a Department of Water & Power electrical line, causing sparks that fell onto the brush below.

"This was, simply put ... an act of God," Garcetti said.

The Skirball Drive off-ramp from the San Diego (405) Freeway remained closed and a stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard between Skirball Center Drive and Sunset Boulevard was restricted to residents with identification only, the LAFD said.

The Getty Center museum and Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades will be closed Friday but are scheduled to reopen Saturday.

7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31

The latest update from the Los Angeles Fire Department on the Getty Fire puts its containment at 52%. The numbers of structures destroyed and damaged was also updated in the latest release from the agency. Ten structures have been destroyed and 15 have been damaged. 

An update from the department reads as follows:

"Firefighters worked throughout the day today patrolling the fires perimeter and cooling any remaining hot spots. Current objective for crews this evening will be to further build upon containment lines. 

Weather is proving to be more favorable over the next couple of days with weak offshore winds of 10-15 mph expected. A low relative humidity trend will continue through much of the next week across Southern California. Conditions remain favorable for dangerous fire growth and behavior. 

The damage inspection report has been completed with new numbers reflected for residences damaged/destroyed." 

10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31

The latest update from the Los Angeles Fire Department on the Getty Fire puts its containment at 39%.

Effective October 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., All Mandatory Evacuation orders and Warnings are lifted with the exception of the following:

  • Tigertail Rd at Deerbrook Ln to Chickory Ln
  • Stonehill Ln
  • Lindenwood Ln
  • Sky Ln
  • Canna Rd
  • Chickory Ln
  • Bluestone Tr to Bluegrass Wy
  • Bluestone Tr
  • Bluegrass Ln
  • Bluegrass Wy

The following link can be used to assist the public in determining if their property is in an area that has been repopulated or remains closed: https://www.lafd.org/news/getty-fire. Simply visit the link and enter an address in the search field in the upper right corner of the map and press enter. Red indicates the area is still closed and unsafe to return.

A statement on the agency's incident page reads:

"The Fire Incident Command continues to monitor the affected fire areas, as well as those areas remaining closed due to critical infrastructure or safety hazards.

The Los Angeles Police Department has a strong presence in the repopulated and evacuated areas for the next several days to ensure the protection of our residents and their property. Your Los Angeles City Fire Department thanks you for your patience during this difficult time."

Information and tips regarding returning home after an evacuation can be found at http://www.mysafela.org/recovery.

7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30

A statement on the agency's incident page reads: 

"Firefighters worked throughout the day to cool any hot spots and contain any flare ups within the current fire perimeter. Adverse weather conditions will continue to be the greatest challenge for firefighters. 

An Extreme Red Flag Warning remains in effect through 6:00PM Thursday. Strong Santa Ana winds gusting between 30 and 50 mph will continue to impact wind prone areas of Los Angeles. Widespread single digit relative humidity is forecasted with poor to no overnight recoveries. This all adds up to an extreme fire weather threat, meaning that conditions are as dangerous for fire growth and behavior as we have seen in recent years."

5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30

Los Angeles authorities have lifted most evacuations from a wildfire in the city's Brentwood area that destroyed a dozen homes and damaged five others.

Fire officials said as of Wednesday evening only a few square blocks to the west of Interstate 405 remain under mandatory evacuation orders due to the Getty Fire.

Some 10,000 people fled after the blaze broke out Monday and eventually charred 1.2 square miles of dry brush.

Firefighters tamped down a half-dozen other small fires across Southern California as gusty Santa Ana winds roared through the region.

5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30

The Los Angeles Fire Department announced the re-population of several areas affected by the Getty Fire in the agency's latest update. 

Mandatory Evacuation Zone (RED) Was Redefined at 5:00 PM Wednesday and Formally Defines the Only Areas Still Requiring Evac View Full Size Map 

2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30

The latest update from the Los Angeles Fire Department says the Getty Fire acreage and containment has not changed. The agency reported that the Los Angeles Fire Department was working with residents to allow for temporary revisits to retrieve medicine and/or check on pets. Details here.

7 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30

The Los Angeles Fire Department provided the following update on the Getty Fire on Wednesday.

Overnight, crews and aircraft worked to contain wind driven spot fires and flare ups within the current fire perimeter. Adverse weather conditions will be the biggest challenge for firefighters today. An Extreme Red Flag Warning remains in effect throughout the day today and into tomorrow. Winds are forecasted to be 30-50 mph with peak wind gusts up to 70 mph. Relative humidity is forecasted to drop into single digits with poor to no overnight recoveries. This all adds up to an extreme fire weather threat, meaning that conditions are as dangerous for fire growth and behavior as we have seen in recent years.

In anticipation of the extreme Santa Ana wind event the Los Angeles City Fire Department has recalled and staffed additional resources for any emergency that may arise over the next 24 hrs. These resources will be strategically placed in key locations that have a history of being prone to wildfire.

Investigators have determined the preliminary cause of the fire by using burn patterns, witness statements, and physical evidence. The fire was deemed an accidental start, caused by a tree branch that broke off and subsequently landed in nearby powerlines during high wind conditions. This errant tree branch caused the sparking and arcing of the powerlines, igniting nearby brush. All powerlines on the pole remained intact.

4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29

Officials say a tree branch striking a power line ignited a wildfire that destroyed a dozen homes in a star-studded area of Los Angeles this week.

The Department of Water and Power said Tuesday that strong winds drove the branch into the line, causing it to arc and spark the fire.

The fire that ignited on a hillside near the J. Paul Getty Museum drove celebrities like LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger from their homes.

The blaze is only smoldering but about 10,000 people remained under evacuation orders as firefighters warned that hot, gusty Santa Ana winds were expected to return Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison announced Tuesday that it believes its equipment caused the Woolsey fire last year north of Los Angeles that killed three people and destroyed more than 1,600 homes and other buildings.

___

2:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the Getty Fire has destroyed 12 homes and damaged five.

The increase from a previous count of eight homes destroyed is from better accounting, not from any additional losses since Monday.

The mayor says the fire is measured Tuesday about 1 square mile and containment has increased to 15%.

Garcetti says there is no open flame but firefighters are still working to extinguish embers throughout the burned area.

Authorities are concerned about the possibility that predicted strong winds overnight could pick up embers and start new fires.

The mandatory evacuation zone encompasses more than 7,000 homes.

11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29

Forecasters say all the elements are in place for a powerful new round of Southern California's notorious Santa Ana winds, the withering gusts with a long history of turning sparks into infernos.

The National Weather Service says the winds are expected to develop late Tuesday, sweeping from the interior out to sea.

Meteorologists predict "a remarkable and dangerous event" with 60-70 mph (96-112 kph) gusts in the mountains and some valleys.

Authorities are worried the winds could hurl embers from the smoldering Getty Fire on the west side of Los Angeles and start new fires.

About 9,000 homes remain evacuated. City Councilman Mike Bonin says that's because experts have analyzed the paths burned by two Santa Ana-spawned disasters — the 1961 Bel Air Fire and the 1978 Mandeville Canyon Fire.

___

8 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29

During a morning press conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas and two council members reported the fire grew to 656 acres and stayed at 5% containment overnight. The winds on Tuesday are going to be lighter, but they are expected to pick up again on Tuesday night. The National Weather Service estimates the gusts could reach up to 70 mph.   

8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28

As of the latest update from the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Getty Fire stands at 618 acres and is 5% contained.

A statement on the LAFD's incident page for the Getty Fire reads: 

"Firefighters and aircraft have made good progress in slowing the spread of the fire. Firefighters are actively engaged in structure  protection throughout the evacuation zone. Aircraft and dozer teams are continuing to strengthen containment lines. We continue to monitor the weather with a Santa Ana wind event scheduled to begin again tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11 PM. Low relative humidity and gusty wind will once again pose a threat for firefighters Tuesday night through mid-day Thursday"

RELATED: California wildfires force LeBron James, family to evacuate home

RELATED: Tick Fire crews prepare for new Santa Ana winds in Los Angeles, Gov. Newsom declares statewide emergency

6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28

A statement on the LAFD's incident page for the Getty Fire reads: 

"Firefighters and aircraft have made good progress in slowing the spread of the fire. Firefighters are actively engaged in structure protection throughout the evacuation zone. Aircraft and dozer teams are continuing to strengthen containment lines. We continue to monitor the weather with a Santa Ana wind event scheduled to begin again tomorrow at 11 PM. Low relative humidity and gusty wind will once again pose a threat for firefighters Tuesday night through mid-day Thursday." 

5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28

An update from the Los Angeles Fire Department indicates the containment of the Getty Fire was at 5% as of 5 p.m.

2:25 p.m.

The Los Angeles fire chief says eight structures are destroyed and five are damaged after a blaze raced up hills near a freeway and into wealthy neighborhoods on the city's west side.

Chief Ralph Terrazas tweeted Monday that more than 1,100 firefighters are battling the 600-acre Getty Fire near the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades communities. Large houses could be seen ablaze during the fire's height.

Crews have slowed the fire's growth near homes. But flames are still chewing through brush and timber in undeveloped land to the northwest.

Officials earlier lifted some evacuation orders. But thousands of people are still being told to stay away.

To the north, a massive wildfire in Sonoma County wine country has destroyed 96 buildings, including at least 40 homes, and is threatening 80,000 more structures.

RELATED: Kincade Fire: Earthquake hits near wildfire in Sonoma County

___

12:40 p.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the wildfire in the city's western neighborhoods has scorched more than 600 acres (243 hectares) but its growth has slowed.

Garcetti says the evacuation area has been slightly reduced after stretching from the Brentwood area down to Pacific Coast Highway in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood area early Monday. The earlier evacuation orders affected 10,000 homes and businesses.

Homes have burned since the fire erupted around 1:30 a.m. and was swept by Santa Ana winds into canyons and ridgetop neighborhoods, but there's still no exact count of how many were destroyed.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas says his firefighters had to make tough choices about which homes could be saved.

Garcetti says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The dry offshore gusts are expected to be replaced by a return of moist ocean air in the afternoon. But Santa Ana winds are forecast to return Tuesday night.

Evacuation Zones (RED = Now Mandatory / YELLOW = Get Prepared to Evacuate) and Centers View Full Size Map

10:45 a.m.

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has tweeted photos showing the campus of The Getty Center unharmed by a wildfire raging nearby and has prompted evacuation orders for 10,000 homes and businesses.

The fire started early Monday near The Getty Center and has moved westward through canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods, burning some homes.

The museum says its artworks are protected by state-of-the-art technology and that the "safest place for the art and library collections is inside."

The Getty Villa separate museum on an ocean-view bluff overlooking Santa Monica Bay is also said to be safe.

10:10 a.m.

Classes have been canceled at the University of California, Los Angeles because of the wildfire raging in the city that has prompted evacuation orders for 10,000 homes and businesses.

UCLA said in a statement Monday that the fire poses no threat to the campus but that many UCLA community members live in evacuation areas or could face difficulties commuting because of road closures.

The fire started at about 1:30 a.m. on the west side of Interstate 405 in the Sepulveda Pass that passes through the Santa Monica Mountains and has moved west. UCLA's campus is on the eastern side of the highway.

Classes in Northern California have been canceled for 40 school districts in Sonoma County north of San Francisco because of a large wildfire.

Classes are also canceled at the University of California, Berkeley, because of pre-emptive power outages aimed at preventing utility infrastructure from sparking fires.

8:50 a.m.

American Red Cross officials say about 100 people fleeing a wildfire in Los Angeles have showed up at an emergency shelter set up at the Westwood Recreation Center.

Dozens napped on cots in the gym Monday morning while others walked their dogs outside or had free coffee and breakfast.

Red Cross Santa Monica Bay chapter executive director Julie Thomas says the evacuees seem anxious and want more information about their homes.

The blaze erupted on the city's west side before dawn Monday and threatened thousands of homes.

Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate.

8:10 a.m.

Airplanes dropping water and fire retardant have joined the battle against a destructive wildfire burning on the western side of Los Angeles.

Night-flying helicopters made water drops during predawn hours Monday and large aircraft started flying the area after the sun rose.

Two so-called "Super Scooper" turboprop airplanes that scoop up water from lakes and reservoirs have begun making drops, along with converted jets unleashing loads of bright pink retardant.

The fire erupted around 1:30 a.m. in Sepulveda Pass where a highway passes through the Santa Monica Mountains and roared up slopes into canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods including Mountaingate and Brentwood.

About 10,000 homes and businesses are in areas subject to mandatory evacuation orders.

7:45 a.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says a wildfire burning in canyon neighborhoods on the city's west side has grown to 500 acres (202 hectares).

The mayor says he has seen five burned homes since the blaze began early Monday and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas says he believes the number of destroyed homes will rise.

The fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. near Interstate 405 on the west side of Sepulveda Pass where Interstate 405 passes through the Santa Monica Mountains. It roared up slopes to the city's Mountaingate area and westward into canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods of Brentwood.

Mandatory evacuation orders extend southwestward through Pacific Palisades to the ocean. They affect 10,000 residential and commercial buildings.

The fire chief says Santa Ana winds blowing out of the northeast are expected to continue until 2 p.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says some homes have burned in a wildfire on the city's west side but so far there have not been extensive losses.

The fire erupted early Monday morning in Sepulveda Pass, which carries Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains.

The mayor says the fire is believed to have grown to about 500 acres (162 hectares), pushed by winds from 15-20 mph (24-32 kph).

Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott says about 10,000 homes are threatened in the Mountaingate and Mandeville Canyon areas but mandatory evacuation orders have expanded southwestward.

___

5:28 a.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says some homes have burned in a wildfire on the city's west side but so far there have not been extensive losses.

The fire erupted early Monday morning in Sepulveda Pass, which carries Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains.

The mayor says the fire is believed to have grown to about 400 acres (162 hectares), pushed by winds from 15-20 mph (24-32 kph).

Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott says about 3,300 homes are threatened in the Mountaingate and Mandeville Canyon areas but mandatory evacuation orders have expanded southwestward.

___

5 a.m.

A Southern California fire has grown to more than 250 acres and around 3,300 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Capt. Erik Scott says at least two structures were burning by around 5 a.m. Monday. The fire started around 1:30 a.m. Monday along Interstate 405, near the Getty Center.

Scott says the 405 remains open and the Getty is not currently threatened by the fire, which is moving west. He said the greatest threat at the moment was to the Mountain Gate and the Mandeville Canyon and Bundy areas in western LA County.

No injuries have been reported at this time. Around 500 firefighters are fighting the fire.

___

4:30 a.m.

Basketball star LeBron James is among evacuees as a fire that erupted early Monday in Southern California grows to more than 70 acres (28 hectares).

The Los Angeles Lakers player tweeted just before 4 a.m. that he was trying to find rooms for his family after having to "emergency evacuate" his house, calling the fires "no joke." He later tweeted that he found accommodation, said he was praying for those affected and advised people to get to safety.

As of 4:30 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said the fire was moving in a westward direction. The Mandeville Canyon and Mountain Gate communities remains under a mandatory evacuation order that verges into Brentwood, and the evacuation warning area has been expanded westward to include parts of Topanga State Park and the Pacific Palisades.

Evacuation centers are open in Westwood and Sherman Oaks.

___

3:50 a.m.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordering mandatory evacuations after a fire erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum.

The department posted an alert Monday advising everyone to leave the Mountain Gate and Mandeville Canyon communities between Mandeville Canyon Road and Interstate 405 north of Sunset Blvd.

Although the Getty Center is nearby, officials say the facility was built with thick walls and doors to compartmentalize any flames.

Mount Saint Mary's University tweeted that its Chalon campus near the Getty has been evacuated under orders from the LAFD. Students were taken to its Doheny campus.

The blaze comes as the Tick Fire near Santa Clarita was 70% contained as of Sunday night. Up north, crews are grappling with a wildfire in Sonoma County that officials say covers 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).

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2:42 a.m.

A fire has erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum in Southern California.

California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball tells the Los Angeles Times that the fire became apparent before 2 a.m. Monday. Videos posted on social media show the fire burning along the southbound side of Interstate 405.

KABC-TV reports that the freeway has since been closed.

The cause of the fire and its size was not immediately known.

The Los Angeles Times reports the Santa Ana winds began to pick back up Sunday night and were expected to last through Monday, increasing fire risks.

The blaze comes as the Tick Fire near Santa Clarita was 70% contained as of Sunday night. Up north, a crews are grappling with a wildfire in Sonoma County that officials say was 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).