Skirball Fire forces closure of the 405 in Los Angeles

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Mayor Eric Garcetti said evacuation orders were affecting about 150,000 residents, but a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman put the number at around 120,000.

Sarah Ashton, left, gets a hug from family friend Robert Rex while Ashton, her sister, Tara Asciutto, and their dad Stephen Ashton got a first look at their family home and vineyard after the Nuns Fire destroyed the property in Glen Ellen, Calif. Both were closed for the day, as was Santa Monica College and all schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district.

The fire was burning in the same general area as the devastating Bel Air Fire of 1961.

Smoke rises from the Creek fire in Sylmar on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

The blaze, dubbed the Creek Fire, was reported at 3:42 a.m.in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga roads, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which was assisting the U.S. Forest Service and the Los Angeles Fire Department in the battle. Firefighters were battling on the scene, being supported by water-dropping helicopters. The ongoing Creek Fire in the Sylmar area has scorched more than 11,000 acres.

Officials were checking on several reports of people being trapped as a result of the fire, but those have not been confirmed, Los Angeles County Fire Department Supervisor Stafford said. More than 600 firefighters battled the blaze amid strong Santa Ana winds, some gusting at 70 miles per hour.

UPDATE: (5:50 a.m.) Fire now burning 50 acres. Terrazas urged people to monitor news broadcasts and social media, including www.LAFD.org.

Two evacuation centers were opened: Sylmar Recreation Center at 13109 Borden Ave.in Sylmar, and Sunland Senior Center at 8640 Fenwick St.in Sunland. The Getty hugs the 405 freeway, a major Californian artery. Firefighting crews set up on the southbound side of the 405 to prevent the fire from jumping the freeway, and northbound vehicles were being turned back.

The 405 is closed in both directions from the 10 to the 101. The closure led to massive congestion on many streets in the San Fernando Valley and in West Los Angeles. The fire was reported just before 4 AM.

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