California Wildfires Destroy At Least 200 Homes

Los Angeles Fire

By 10 p.m., the fire was estimated to have burned 450 acres, about 25 acres less than the figure provided by officials during an afternoon update.

A SigAlert was expanded at 6:45 a.m., shutting down the freeway in both directions from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway, the CHP stated.

No evacuation orders were officially in place, however residents should be prepared to get out quickly, Stewart said.

About a dozen evacuation centers have been established due to various fires burning in the city, including at Delano Recreation Center, 15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys; Balboa RC, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys; Sherman Oaks RC, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks; and Westwood RC, 1350 Sepulveda Blvd., Westwood.

The fire, which has already destroyed 16,000 acres, remains uncontrolled and now threatens multiple parts of Los Angeles county, including Brentwood, Hollywood, Bel Air, Sunset, Mulholland, the area near LAX, more. A precautionary evacuation area is west of the 405 Freeway and residents in that area should be ready to go, LAPD said.

"In a wind-driven event, wind is king", Hogan said. In addition to the Bel-Air fire, the Ventura County fire has forced at least 50,000 people to evacuate.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a local state of emergency in response to the Skirball Fire, requesting state and federal assistance. Neither is Bel-Air CC, though CBS Los Angeles said the course closed Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution".

Earlier a wildfire in a wealthy western area of Los Angeles reached an estate and winery owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

It is so bad that the National Weather Service - which normally uses yellow, orange and red to gauge how severe the wind will be on its graphs - created a whole new color, purple, to depict the extreme conditions expected Thursday. The Getty hugs the 405 freeway, a major Californian artery.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is closing all schools.

The University of California, Los Angeles announced that classes would be cancelled on Thursday due to the campus' proximity to the fire.

Wind gusts were forecast to top out at 70 miles per hour (115 km per hour) on Wednesday and remain strong through the week.