Wildfire shuts San Diego Freeway: Rush-hour nightmare as flames rage

Wildfire shuts San Diego Freeway: Rush-hour nightmare as flames rage

The fire was reported just before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

A new wildfire broke out overnight in some of Los Angeles' most exclusive neighborhoods on its tony Westside near UCLA and the Getty Center, home to one of the nation's top art museums. The fire devoured 150 acres and at least four homes near Morega Drive and Casiano Road.

As a raging conflagration now called the Skirball Fire engulfed the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday morning, December 6, the nearby Getty Center and its fabled J. Paul Getty Museum appeared to be safe for the time being. Some area restaurants chose to remain open amid the fire and smoke-filled skies, while others closed shop for the day.

Commuters on a bus couldn't believe their eyes as cops shut down a portion of the 405, the busiest stretch of freeway in the country, as firefighters fought to save nearby multi-million dollar homes in Bel-Air.

Share this article: "Normal" traffic is bad enough on the San Diego (405) Freeway as shown here.

The Rye Fire, which prompted a closure of I-5 at the Grapevine, has burned 7,000 and was 5 percent surrounded.

Wildfire shuts San Diego Freeway: Rush-hour nightmare as flames rage

The fire has been propelled by heavy Santa Ana winds - with gusts that could reach up to 60 miles per hour - as well as the region's dry climate. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but flames were threatening the famed Getty Center and adjacent buildings on its sprawling hillside campus. Temperatures were cool, however, in the 60s and 70s.

No evacuation orders were officially in place, however residents should be prepared to get out quickly, Stewart said.

The Creek fire was listed at 11,000 acres.

Karen Misraje, a partner and branch manager with Partners' Trust, now part of Pacific Union International, and president of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors, said firefighters would be informed by the 1961 fire in Bel-Air.

Power outages were widespread.

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