Thousands told to evacuate as Los Angeles wildfire spreads to more than 500 acres

(Reuters News, 28 Oct 2019) About 3,300 homes are in the mandatory evacuation area.

Wind-whipped flames chased thousands of residents from some of Los Angeles' wealthiest neighborhoods and threatened the famed Getty Center museum on Monday, the latest outbreak in a wildfire season that has triggered mass evacuations and power outages across California.

The fire erupted in the vicinity of the Getty Center at around 1:30 a.m.(0830 GMT) and by daybreak had swept across more than 500 acres (202 hectares) in the scrub-covered hills around Interstate 405, near some of the city's most expensive homes.

Basketball great LeBron James, "Terminator" star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Agents of SHIELD" actor Clark Gregg and "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter all said on Twitter they had been forced to flee their homes. Commuters posted videos on social media of entire slopes engulfed in orange flames close to the highway's edge.

At least five homes had burned down, but no injuries were reported, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference along with fire officials, warning that he expected property losses to rise.

"This is a fire that quickly spread," he said, urging residents in the mandatory evacuation zone, which encompasses more than 10,000 homes and businesses, to get out quickly.

James, an area resident who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, said he had heeded the warning and had been driving around before dawn with his family looking for shelter.

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Reuters News, 28 Oct 2019: Thousands told to evacuate as Los Angeles wildfire spreads to more than 500 acres