Skirball Fire Grows to 475 Acres, 11 Homes Damaged, 4 Destroyed

Both sides of the 405 Freeway have been shut down thanks to the Skirball Fire. The California Highway Patrol says the Southbound 405 was reopened around 9:10 am, but the Northbound side remained closed between the 101 and 10 Freeways. Transition roads and connectors have also been closed, causing major gridlock. 

The Skirball fire started early this morning near the Getty Center along Mulholland drive and is currently 475 acres and is five percent contained.

Several homes are also under threat toward the top of the hill on the east side. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were assisting in evacuating nearby neighborhoods. Eleven homes have already been damaged by the fire, and four have been completely destroyed according to fire officials. 

Officials with the Getty Center say the public shouldn't worry about the priceless art it has stored there. Ron Hartwig, the Vice President of Communications with the museum says a sophisticated air system started forcing air out of the museum. Air is pumped in from other places, cleaned and kept at a certain humidity level to keep the billions in art protected. Plants that contain high water content have also been planted near the building to help protect it from the flames. 

Getty officials say the Getty Center and Getty Villa outside Malibu will be closed tomorrow in response to the fires. 

Hundreds of drivers found themselves stuck on the 405 this morning as the major roadway turned into a parking lot. The Skirball fire is one of several burning across Southern California that are being fueled by powerful Santa Ana winds. 

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