Firefighters worked all night to try to control the fire that burned in the hillside communities of Los Angeles before the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season, threatening to unleash chaos throughout the region in the coming days. The flames shine on a hillside of Highway 405 near the Getty Center on Monday. This fire has forced evacuations and burned more than 600 acres.
Firefighters worked all night to try to control the fire that burned in the hillside communities of Los Angeles before the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season, threatening to unleash chaos throughout the region in the coming days .
The Getty fire, which broke out shortly after 1:30 am Monday along Highway 405 near the Getty Center, quickly spread to the neighborhoods, burning 658 acres, destroying several houses and causing the inhabitants of the area escaped in the middle of the dark. Until Tuesday morning the fire was contained at 5%.
Favorable weather conditions – including high humidity and decreased wind speed – helped firefighters slow down the growth of fire during the night despite flares east of Tigertail Road in Brentwood, where several houses had burned hours before.
“Our goal was to make the most of those night conditions,” said Margaret Stewart, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
With about 1,100 firefighters fighting the fire, the main objective of the firefighter crews on Tuesday will be to increase containment before the extreme winds of Santa Ana arrive during the early hours of Wednesday. The gusts are expected to be the worst in the region this season, said LAFD chief Ralph Terrazas.
Fire officials fear that high winds may blow burning coals miles away from the core of the fire, causing new fires in dry weeds or lighting houses.
“It only takes one ember and the wind to light another fire,” said Terrazas. “We are very worried about the wind we will have tonight.”
For that reason, fire officials say mandatory evacuations for thousands of residents – east of Temescal Canyon Road, north of Sunset Boulevard, south of Mulholland Drive and west of Highway 405 – will remain in effect.