"Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms," wrote LeBron James
The Getty Fire has blazed through more than 500 acres since it started around 1:30 a.m. local time adjacent to the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a press conference.
The Los Angeles Fire Department has since issued mandatory evacuations for more than 10,000 homes and buildings, from Sunset Boulevard to Chautauqua Boulevard to the south, Temescal Canyon Road to the west, Mulholland Drive to the north, and the 405 Freeway to the east.
James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, wrote on Twitter that he and his family had to evacuate their home around 4 a.m. local time.
“Man these LA 🔥 aren’t no joke. Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms. No luck so far! 🤦🏾♂️,” wrote James, 34.
The NBA star added later that he had finally found a place to accommodate his family, but that it had been a “crazy night.”
“I 🙏🏾 for all the families in the area that could be affected by these 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 now! Pretty please get to safety ASAP,” he wrote. “My best wishes as well to the first responders⛑ right now doing what they do best! 🙏🏾💪🏾.”
Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California, wrote that he also evacuated around 3:30 a.m. local time, and urged other people in the evacuation zones to do the same.
“If you are in an evacuation zone, don’t screw around. Get out,” wrote Schwarzenegger, 72. “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. #GettyFire”
Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger’s ex-wife, evacuated her home as well, writing on Twitter that she was “so grateful” to the nearly 500 firefighters battling the flames.
“We have evacuated, but we’re safe. Praying for our neighbors,” wrote Shriver, 63. “Praying for everyone in the path of this terrifying destruction. Thank you again to our firefighters for keeping us safe. If you’re in an evacuation zone, please follow the warnings and evacuate immediately. The winds are strong and the fires move quickly.”
Today West Coast anchor Natalie Morales, 47, shared a view of the blaze from her porch with a Twitter photo that showed plumes of smoke glowing red from the flames and rising up over the trees.
“View from the porch of our LA home.. brushfire west of the 405 but LAFD alerted Bel Air and Brentwood areas to “prepare” to evacuate… about 10 acres reportedly but this one is west of the highway and winds are fierce… near a very densely populated area.. power also out,” she wrote.
Though authorities said the fire broke out near the Getty Center, the J. Paul Getty Museum clarified on Twitter that as of 8 a.m. local time, the Getty Center and the Getty Villa — and the historic works of art within — were both safe from the blaze.
“Many have asked about the art—it is protected by state-of-the-art technology. The safest place for the art and library collections is inside,” the museum wrote on Twitter.
The museum is home to thousands of pieces of art, including Roman antiquities, rare sculptures and European paintings like Édouard Manet’s “Spring (Le Printemps),” which Getty bought for a record-breaking $65 million in 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Mayor Garcetti said at the press conference that he was unable to determine the number of structures that had so far been affected by the fire, but that he personally saw five homes on Tigertail Road that had been lost.
“Lower temperatures are on our side,” he said. “So, too, are the winds, which could and have been much more powerful.”
The mayor also urged residents not to be heroes, and to avoid sticking around in mandatory evacuation areas.
“Leave your home. We’ve seen fires and tragedies where people have believed they could stay in place where they thought they could be a hero, fight the fire themselves, take out their garden hose — do not do that,” he said. “The only thing you cannot replace is you and your family.”
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas also spoke at the press conference, saying the city was in the midst of a “dangerous season,” pointing to several other recent fires like the Saddleridge Fire and the Palisades Fire.
“The Santa Ana wins pick up historically in September, and last throughout April,” he said. “We have not had any significant rainfall for a period of time, so that’s why we’re very, very concerned about these weather conditions.”