On Monday morning, at around 1:30 am, some of the priciest homes in Los Angeles were in danger when a flame broke out in the area. Thousands of people were given an order to evacuate, fleeing their homes as soon as possible. The fast-spreading flame spread across 202 hectares of hills posing danger to both residents and celebrities who live in some of the city‘s richest parts.
As fires raged through the hills of Los Angeles, a fire in Northern California continued to grow. Luckily, neither of the fires caused casualties, but in LA about eight houses burned down while six others were damaged, although fire officials are expecting an increase in the number of destroyed homes.
The evacuation zone included over 10,000 homes and residents were urged to flee as soon as possible since the flame was spreading at incredibly fast speed. Many celebrities took to Twitter to ensure fans that they took notice of the warning and evacuated to safety, some of which included the LA Lakers‘ superstar LeBron James, former governor of California and Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kurt Sutter – maker of the hit show Sons of Anarchy, rap legend Dr Dre, actor Clark Gregg, and senator Kamala Harris.
The fire started very close to the Getty Museum which is home to numerous priceless artworks. However, according to Best in AU, the museum was not in danger since the building‘s north side, where the fire was nearing towards, has extremely thick walls made of stone that are specifically designed to offer protection from any flames that threaten to damage the precious art.
UCLA (University of California) canceled classes due to disruptions since many of the university‘s academic personnel and administrative staff lived in areas affected by the blaze. On the other hand, 450 students fled the campus of Mount St. Mary‘s University as the Getty fire approached the area and the ash floated in the air. Interstate 405 which is a major north-south Interstate Highway and a large commuting corridor was also affected with the blaze shutting down southbound lanes.
Meanwhile, firefighters are still struggling to battle against the massive flames of the Kincade Fire which destroyed more than 260 square kilometers of land, forcing more than 200 thousand people to evacuate their homes in Northern California‘s Wine Country. As the fire doubled in size, it damaged or destroyed more than 400 structures and countless wineries and vineyards. A state of emergency was declared due to the raging flames and although it is still uncertain what started the fire, investigators suspect it was caused by a broken wire on one of the transmission towers belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric.
PG&E, the largest distributor of electricity in California, has shut down power supplies to over 940,000 customers to prevent new fires from igniting, and they might shut off power to more residencies in the upcoming days.
Unfortunately, the lack of rain, dry vegetation, and strong winds are continuing to fuel the flames and on Monday, only 5 percent of the fire was contained. According to the area‘s weather forecasts, strong winds are going to continue throughout the week, meaning that things might only get harder for firefighters and residents alike.
In California, PG&E‘s failure to upgrade its infrastructure is frowned upon by many, especially since wildfire hazards have become worse and worse over the years.