SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Evacuation orders have expanded to the parts of Santa Rosa as firefighters struggle to beat back a wind-driven wildfire that started in Northern California’s wine country four days ago.
Authorities issued the order early Sunday as historic winds fueled the fire overnight and prompted the state’s largest utility company to shut power to 2.3 million people to prevent additional wildfires.
Santa Rosa was hit hard by a wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes and killed 22 people two years ago. The evacuation order affects the northwestern section of the city.
California fire officials say the current wildfire, dubbed the Kincade Fire, that began Wednesday night has burned at least 40 square miles and is only 11% contained.
WATCH CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR AND OTHER OFFICIALS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE REGARDING MASSIVE WILDFIRES
The National Weather Service says wind gusts topped 90 mph Sunday morning in Healdsburg Hills North, a city in California’s wine country.
WATCH: Massive Kincade Fire Press conference in California
WATCH: MASSIVE GETTY FIRE CAUSES EVACUATIONS
WATCH: MASSIVE GETTY FIRE PRESS CONFERENCE
SANTA ROSA, California (AP) — The Latest on California fires (all times local):
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says some homes have burned in a wildfire on the city’s west side but so far there have not been extensive losses.
The fire erupted early Monday morning in Sepulveda Pass, which carries Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains.
The mayor says the fire is believed to have grown to about 400 acres (162 hectares), pushed by winds from 15-20 mph (24-32 kph).
Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott says about 3,300 homes are threatened in the Mountaingate and Mandeville Canyon areas but mandatory evacuation orders have expanded southwestward.
A Southern California fire has grown to more than 250 acres and around 3,300 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Capt. Erik Scott says at least two structures were burning by around 5 a.m. Monday. The fire started around 1:30 a.m. Monday along Interstate 405, near the Getty Center.
Scott says the 405 remains open and the Getty is not currently threatened by the fire, which is moving west. He said the greatest threat at the moment was to the Mountain Gate and the Mandeville Canyon and Bundy areas in western LA County.
No injuries have been reported at this time. Around 500 firefighters are fighting the fire.
Basketball star LeBron James is among evacuees as a fire that erupted early Monday in Southern California grows to more than 70 acres (28 hectares).
The Los Angeles Lakers player tweeted just before 4 a.m. that he was trying to find rooms for his family after having to “emergency evacuate” his house, calling the fires “no joke.” He later tweeted that he found accommodation, said he was praying for those affected and advised people to get to safety.
As of 4:30 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said the fire was moving in a westward direction. The Mandeville Canyon and Mountain Gate communities remains under a mandatory evacuation order that verges into Brentwood, and the evacuation warning area has been expanded westward to include parts of Topanga State Park and the Pacific Palisades.
Evacuation centers are open in Westwood and Sherman Oaks.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordering mandatory evacuations after a fire erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum.
The department posted an alert Monday advising everyone to leave the Mountain Gate and Mandeville Canyon communities between Mandeville Canyon Road and Interstate 405 north of Sunset Blvd.
Although the Getty Center is nearby, officials say the facility was built with thick walls and doors to compartmentalize any flames.
Mount Saint Mary’s University tweeted that its Chalon campus near the Getty has been evacuated under orders from the LAFD. Students were taken to its Doheny campus.
The blaze comes as the Tick Fire near Santa Clarita was 70% contained as of Sunday night. Up north, crews are grappling with a wildfire in Sonoma County that officials say covers 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).
A fire has erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum in Southern California.
California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball tells the Los Angeles Times that the fire became apparent before 2 a.m. Monday. Videos posted on social media show the fire burning along the southbound side of Interstate 405.
KABC-TV reports that the freeway has since been closed.
The cause of the fire and its size was not immediately known.
The Los Angeles Times reports the Santa Ana winds began to pick back up Sunday night and were expected to last through Monday, increasing fire risks.
The blaze comes as the Tick Fire near Santa Clarita was 70% contained as of Sunday night. Up north, a crews are grappling with a wildfire in Sonoma County that officials say was 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).
Millions of people in Northern California are on track to have lights come back on, but some may not be restored before another round of strong winds threaten to damage power lines and spark fires.
Electricity is expected to begin being restored by Monday, though Pacific Gas & Electric Co. warned it might cut power again as soon as Tuesday with a forecast of strong winds expected to last until Wednesday.
The utility notified more than 1.2 million people that they may have their electricity shut off for what could be the third time in a week.
Nearly 200,000 people are under evacuation orders as crews grapple with a wildfire in wine country that fire officials say was 85 square miles (220 square kilometers), destroyed 94 buildings and was threatening 80,000 buildings Sunday night.