Enormous fires have been ravaging huge swaths of land in and around Los Angeles county and are now encroaching on several multi-million-dollar celebrity homes.
The growing fire was nearing several A-listers homes including Paris Hilton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and Heidi Klums’.
The fire, which was raging in Mandeville Canyon and the Brentwood area, shut down roadways including a partial closure of heavily traveled Interstate 405, near scenic Mulholland Drive.
Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch’s estate- which is one of the most expensive in the Los Angeles city limits- has also been evacuated. Murdoch purchased the property in 2013 for $28.8million.
Flames from a wildfire work their way down a slope behind a home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday where several celebrity homes are endanger
Rupert Murdoch’s estate is dangerously close to the fast moving fire and is completely covered in smoke as of Wednesday afternoon
The media mogul’s estate on Moraga Drive was gray as it was surrounded by smoke but neither the buildings nor the vineyards had burned as of Wednesday afternoon.
Eva Longoria shared a post on Instagram that she’s out of town and had her brother helping move things from her home where fire was quickly encroaching just off the Interstate.
Celebrities, like everyone else effected by the raging inferno, had to shuttle children to safety as most schools were closed in areas impacted by heavy smoke and fire.
The nearby Getty Center museum shut down for the day Wednesday to protect its billion-dollar art collection from smoke damage.
The Los Angeles fire, dubbed the Skirball fire, due to its proximity to the Skirball Cultural Center, a Jewish museum and events space was one of several fires in Southern California.
At least two homes were ablaze Wednesday morning.
The fire was burning in the Hollywood Hills near the exclusive Bel Air neighborhood.
The Skirball fire began as a brush fire that erupted overnight and quickly spread, creating an alarming spectacle for pre-dawn commuters on the hillsides east of Interstate 405 before the California Highway Patrol closed the heavily traveled freeway.
The Skirball Fire prompted officials to order residents of the hilly, wooded area west of the Bel Air neighborhood out of their homes.
It was not immediately clear how many people were affected by the evacuation order in the area south of scenic Mulholland Drive and north of Sunset Boulevard.
‘It would be safe to say there are hundreds of homes in the area,’ said Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Fire crews in the area were starting to see some structural damage, he added.
The new fire came as part of a series of wind-driven fires that had destroyed more than 180 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
More than 1,000 firefighters battled an unrelenting wildfire on Wednesday that threatened more than 12,000 homes in and around Ventura, the biggest of several uncontrolled Southern California blazes fanned by intensifying dry Santa Ana winds.
The Thomas Fire raged in the foothills above and in the city of Ventura some 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, fire officials said late Tuesday. That blaze, which began on Monday, had charred more than 50,000 acres, they said.
‘We are still in the middle of an aggressive and active firefight on the ground,’ said Robert Welsbie, spokesman for the Ventura Fire Department. ‘If the winds pick up, we will face quite a challenge.’
There were no immediate reports of fatalities, Welsbie said.
Some 1,000 firefighters battled to save homes, with one suffering a minor injury, Welsbie said.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing state funds and resources to assist.
More than 250,000 homes lost power, utilities said. Classes were canceled at all schools in the Ventura Unified School District on Wednesday.
Thomas was the largest of a number of wildfires that broke out across Southern California following the onset of the Santa Ana winds.
In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Creek Fire had blackened more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent center north of Interstate 210.
Three firefighters were injured and hospitalized in stable condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a state of emergency while 11 Los Angeles Unified schools canceled Wednesday classes.
Some 30 structures were destroyed by the Creek Fire by Tuesday evening, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.