'Get to safety': LeBron James among evacuees after wildfire erupts near Getty Center in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES - LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among those who were forced to flee their homes early Monday in a fire that erupted near the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
James 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." The Los Angeles Lakers player later said that he found accommodation, said he was praying for those affected and advised people to get to safety.
Schwarzenegger shared that he also had to evacuate around 3:30 a.m. PT and urged others to do the same.
"If you are in an evacuation zone, don’t screw around. Get out," the former governor of California wrote on Twitter. "Right now I am grateful for the best firefighters in the world, the true action heroes who charge into the danger to protect their fellow Californians."
Others who own homes in the evacuation zone include Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat running for president, who was not home at the time; Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger; and rapper and producer Dr. Dre.
The fire erupted around 1:30 a.m. local time in Los Angeles' Sepulveda Pass, which carries Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains. By 12 p.m., it had grown to more than 600 acres and was 0 percent contained, prompting and order for tens of thousands of people to clear out as the fire spread.
“This is a very dynamic fire that is moving in a westward direction driven by high winds,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said, adding that more than 600 firefighters were battling the flames.
Fire officials said more than 10,000 residential and commercial structures threatened within the mandatory evacuation zones. At least five homes were destroyed.
No injuries have been reported.
Aerial footage showed one home burning on Chickory Lane in the upscale community of Brentwood.
Other videos posted by drivers showed hillsides along the 405 Freeway completely engulfed in flames.
The Getty Center, a 110-acre campus of the Getty Museum and other programs of the Getty Trust which houses artwork from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, is located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains along the freeway.
Officials posted on Twitter early Monday that the center “remains safe” with the fire to the north and west of the campus.
However, Mount St. Mary’s University evacuated 450 students from its nearby campus. And the University of California, Los Angeles, canceled classes — not because of any direct threat from the flames but because of disruptions caused by the fire.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an emergency declaration for Los Angeles County in order to provide additional resources to support firefighters and first responders battling the blaze.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.