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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A fire erupted on a hillside early Monday near the Getty Center museum in Southern California and thousands of evacuations are underway.
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 forcing a partial closure.
Basketball star LeBron James is among evacuees. 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.
The cause of the fire and its size was not immediately known.
Evacuation centers are open in Westwood and Sherman Oaks.
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.