As Southern California firefighters continue their struggle to contain fires throughout Los Angeles and surrounding counties on Wednesday, commuters found themselves driving next to raging fires that now are threatening the Westwood, Brentwood and Bel-Air neighborhoods of West L.A. According to the
Los Angeles Times, the Bel-Air fire, which shut down the 405 freeway in both directions, began in the hills of Brentwood and traveled up the Santa Monica Mountains into the Bel-Air neighborhood. SEE ALSO: California's worst fire season just got even more terrifying Described as a "fast moving, 6-acre wildfire" by the
Times, the fire has prompted evacuations in the gated community of Bel-Air with several homes now burning. Officials have also closed the 405 freeway in both directions, as the fire rages in the hills along the Getty Center exit. The Getty Museum, a gem containing historic works of art, is threatened by the flames. Today was scariest morning commute of my life: #gettycenter #skirballfire pic.twitter.com/aECWhnJ26I — Rick Patrick (@70sspacepunk) December 6, 2017 The 405 Freeway Getty Center fire pic.twitter.com/8asimBuCtr — ooysterr (@ooysterr) December 6, 2017 As a new wildfire breaks out in Los Angeles, this time in Bel-Air, 100+ firefighters are already on the scene. The 405 is closed near Getty Center. https://t.co/BvVwpZKmq1 pic.twitter.com/eHsfcjByP7 — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 6, 2017 Update #BrushFire; 6:20AM; NB 405 FY x Mulholland Dr; #BelAir/HolmbyHills; EVACUATION INFO: ... https://t.co/YbLVcoItlW — LAFD (@LAFD) December 6, 2017 #BREAKING: The 405 Freeway is SHUT DOWN in BOTH directions between the 101 Freeway and the 10 Freeway due to fire. — CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) December 6, 2017 The strong, desiccating Santa Ana winds have created ideal conditions for wildfires, by compressing hot air in the L.A. basin, and prompting the spread of embers well ahead of any fires that crop up. The winds are also helping to cause fires to exhibit extreme fire behavior, making them difficult to impossible to control. West Los Angeles neighborhoods are connected by the Santa Monica Mountains, known to hikers and Angelenos as the "backbone." That interconnectivity is what has prompted officials to warn residents of Mandeville Canyon and other areas in Brentwood to prepare for evacuation. The Skirball Museum and a number of schools along Mulholland Drive — which divides the city from the valley — could be threatened along with the Getty. Bel Air Estates..east side of the 405..Fire burns out of control in the Sepulveda Pass - 6:35am PST @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/0DiEtdDl7c — Rick Dickert (@RICKatFOX) December 6, 2017 The Bel-Air fire is now 50 acres and is causing massive gridlock along the 405, one of L.A.'s most congested areas https://t.co/BvVwpZKmq1 pic.twitter.com/6bAKmTpsUY — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 6, 2017 Burnt out remains of homes in the Bel-Air section of LA, destroyed by wildfires in 1961 during the dry season.Image: Ralph Crane/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty ImagesMeanwhile, the Los Angeles Fire Department is also fighting the Creek Fire in the Sylmar and surrounding areas of L.A. County. As of 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday night, the fire remained zero percent contained, according to the L.A. Fire Department. A far larger blaze is still burning further northwest, with at least 65,000 acres having gone up in flames near Ventura.
UPDATE Dec. 6 10:45 a.m. PT: Local media reports that Rupert Murdoch's $30 million home and vineyard has been affected by the blaze. WATCH: The science behind the fast-moving wildfires that are devastating California read more Disclaimer: Chances are that this post was requested by an advertiser.