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Wildfire burning near the Getty Center in Los Angeles

08 December 2017

It jumped Highway 101 and was burning Wednesday in and around the city of Ventura, forcing the evacuations of 50,000 people, Cal Fire officials said.

Still, Hartwig said the art complex's plan has always been to keep the artwork in place in case of fire.

Los Angeles authorities ordered parts of the tony Bel Air district near the fire to leave - but those are just a fraction of the evacuations that have been ordered in Southern California since Monday night.

As of a 3:27 p.m. update from California Fire, the Creek Fire has consumed 11,377 acres since it began Tuesday in Los Angeles County with zero percent containment.

Wind gusts blasting Los Angeles-area hilltops reached almost 70 miles per hour, officials said. Sunset Boulevard near the 405 has closed as well.

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Upton of Cal Fire said she can not remember any time when so many wind-driven fires were burning at the same time this late in the fire season. The Santa Anas are strong, dry winds that high-pressure systems push from east to west, from the mountains and desert areas down into the Los Angeles area.

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.

A raging wildfire fueled by high winds created an wonderful - and terrifying - sight for morning commuters Wednesday on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles-area synagogues and Jewish institutions closed in the wake of a major fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire after the Jewish cultural centre that is in its path.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Butler said firefighters and aircraft stopped the growth of the 475-acre blaze in the Bel Air neighbourhood.

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"This fire is very risky and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got", Brown said.

UCLA, Cal State Northridge, Los Angeles Valley College and Santa Monica College all canceled classes Thursday.

State fire director Ken Pimlott said winds that eased in the afternoon could return with gusts up to 80mph on Thursday that would make it impossible to fight the fire.

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Wildfire burning near the Getty Center in Los Angeles