Getty Fire: All Evacuations Lifted As Crews Make Progress
Last updated on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 1:23 p.m.
Almost all mandatory evacuations for the Getty Fire had been lifted by 10 a.m. Thursday as crews made progress battling the fire, which is still burning in the Mandeville Canyon area west of the 405 Freeway. Authorities are hopeful that all evacuations will be lifted later today.
At one point, roughly 10,000 people had been asked to evacuate. The bulk of those evacuation orders were lifted by Wednesday night.
The fire, which started early Monday morning, has burned about 745 acres and was 39% contained as of Thursday morning. Arson investigators believe the fire was sparked by a broken tree branch that was blown into power lines.
The windy weather remains the biggest challenge facing fire crews. They expect 30 to 50 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph. Combined with low humidity, "This all adds up to an extreme fire weather threat, meaning that conditions are as dangerous for fire growth and behavior as we have seen in recent years," according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
- Acres burned: 745
- Containment: 39%
- Injuries: None reported
- Structures damaged or destroyed: At least 12 structures destroyed, five damaged
- Structures threatened: 7,091 homes
- Resources deployed: About 760 personnel across multiple agencies
An "extreme red flag warning" remains in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday. Winds of 30 to 50 mph are expected and peak gusts could hit 70 mph in the mountains.
Rich Thomson, an incident metereologist with the National Weather Service has been assigned to assist crews battling the Getty Fire. He told KPCC/LAist on Tuesday that it was the first time he remembered his office describing a red flag warning as "extreme."
He said the combination of gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity and dry brush could add up to the strongest red flag event since October 2007, when the Witch Fire destroyed more than 1,600 structures in the San Diego area.
"That's why we're using that really strong wording, to really get the word out to people that this could be a very potentially significant event," Thomson said. "More so than your run-of-the-mill Santa Ana, which can cause fires and issues. All the parameters come together for this particular event, [making] the potential for extreme fire behavior and extreme fire growth to occur."
Tips to prepare for severe wind:— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) October 30, 2019
🌬️Store items that can become a flying hazard & strike power lines indoors
🌳Inspect trees for loose/fallen branches
🚬Properly dispose of cigarettes & avoid open flames/creating sparks
✅Be prepared with an emergency plan & supply kit
You can read more about how to prepare for possible power outages here.
All mandatory evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted with the exception of the following:
- Tigertail Rd. at Deerbrook Ln. to Chickory Ln.
- Stonehill Ln.
- Lindenwood Ln.
- Sky Ln.
- Canna Rd.
- Chickory Ln.
- Bluestone Tr. to Bluegrass Wy.
- Bluestone Tr.
- Bluegrass Ln.
- Bluegrass Wy.
Voluntary evacuations were lifted Wednesday evening.
For people (small animals welcome):
- Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 South Supulveda
- Palisades Recreation Center, 851 Alma Real Dr.
- West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St.
- West L.A. Animal Shelter, 11361 W Pico Bl.
- Large Animals: Hanson Dam Recreation Center, 11770 Foothill Blvd.
- The 405 freeway is open in both directions but the Skirball Center Dr. offramp remains closed.
- Sepulveda Blvd. northbound is open to all traffic.
- Sepulveda Blvd. southbound is open to all traffic except from Skirball Center Dr. to Sunset Blvd., which is restricted to residents with I.D. only.
All schools in Malibu will remain closed Thursday. LAUSD updates are available here. Check with your local school or school district for additional information.
Kenter Canyon Elementary will remain closed Thursday due to the #GettyFire. Other #LAUSD schools that have been closed this week will reopen on Thursday and will operate on their regular schedules. - https://t.co/rQRZgtIQ36 pic.twitter.com/qyFmj0tKyZ— Los Angeles Unified (@LASchools) October 31, 2019
Check AQMD's website for a live map of air quality conditions.
The Getty Fire broke out just after 1:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28 about 50 acres west of the 405 Freeway near Sunset Boulevard, not far from the Getty Center. Within hours, it had spread to hundreds of acres and prompted thousands of mandatory evacuations.
Arson investigators determined that the fire was caused by a eucalyptus tree branch that broke off and was carried by the strong winds into power lines 30 feet away. The contact caused an arc that sent sparks flying onto the ground, igniting the fire.
LADWP general manager Marty Adams said utility crews had cleared the brush around the pole in July and that they maintain space around their equipment that is beyond the state recommendations.
Mayor Eric Garcetti called it an "act of god."
HOW WE'RE REPORTING ON THIS
Several reporters including Sharon McNary and Alyssa Jeong Perry provided coverage from the scene of the fire. Digital producer Ryan Fonseca and Elina Shatkin kept this story updated. Additional research and reporting is being done by LAist staffers and KPCC newscast producers.
For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:
- Every Day Is Fire Season. Here's How Angelenos Can Prepare Right Now
- How To Find Out About Fire Evacuations In Your Area
- How To Keep Yourself Safe From Wildfire Smoke
- The Air Is Brown -- Should I Wear A Mask?
- What Does 'Containment' Of A Fire Mean, Exactly?
- This Is Why Fire Officials Don't Want You To Stay And Defend Your Home
- What To Do -- And Not Do -- When You Get Home After A Wildfire
- How To Avoid Getting Towed During LA's Red Flag Parking Restrictions
- If You Want To Help Fire Victims, Resist The Urge To Volunteer