LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Getty Fire burning in the Sepulveda Pass has charred 745 acres, destroyed 10 homes, damaged 15 others and was 52% contained this morning as firefighters took advantage of improved weather conditions to build up containment lines.
“Weather is proving to be more favorable over the next couple of days with weak offshore winds of 10-15 mph expected,” according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. But she added: “A low relative humidity trend will continue through much of the next week across Southern California. Conditions remain favorable for dangerous fire growth and behavior.”
More evacuation orders were lifted Thursday morning with the only remaining orders in place were for homes and businesses on Tigertail Road between Deerbrook Lane and Chickory Lane, Stonehill Lane, Lindenwood Lane, Sky Lane, Canna Road, Chickory Lane, Bluestone Trail to Bluegrass Way, Bluegrass Lane and Bluestone Lane.
It was unclear how many residents live in the affected area.
At one point, evacuation orders affected 10,000 homes and commercial buildings and stretched from the San Diego (405) Freeway west to Temescal Canyon Road, between Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive.
A total of 604 firefighters were assigned to the blaze.
A red flag warning of critical fire conditions expired at 6 p.m. Thursday for much of the Southland, but it will remain in effect until 6 p.m. today for the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest.
National Weather Service forecasters said “weaker and more localized winds” are expected through today, and “they should be just strong enough to keep critical conditions going through Friday in the windiest locations.”
The weather service forecast winds in the affected area of 15 to 25 mph, gusting up to 35 mph, coupled with dry conditions -- humidity levels of 2 to 8%.
Fire officials had expressed fear about the gusting winds potentially sparking flare-ups within the Getty Fire area, or carrying smoldering embers to new locations and setting off new blazes.
Meanwhile, all Los Angeles Unified School District that had been closed after the fire erupted early Monday will be open Friday. Only three schools remained closed Thursday.
All schools in Malibu also will reopen today, according to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
It was unclear if Corpus Christi Elementary School in Pacific Palisades and St. Martin of Tours Elementary School in Brentwood, both of which were closed Thursday, would reopen today.
With most evacuation orders lifted, evacuation centers that were established at Westwood Recreation Center at 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd., and the Palisades Recreation Center, 851 Alma Real Drive, were closed Thursday evening.
Evacuation centers for animals were established at the West Valley Animal Shelter at 20655 Plummer St., and the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter at 11361 Pico Blvd. Hansen Dam Recreation Center at 11770 Foothill Blvd. in Lake View Terrace was opened to receive large animals.
Authorities confirmed Tuesday afternoon the Getty Fire was caused by gusting winds that severed a tree branch and blew it into a Department of Water & Power electrical line, causing sparks that fell onto the brush below.
“This was, simply put ... an act of God,” Garcetti said.
The Skirball Drive off-amp from the San Diego (405) Freeway remained closed and a stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard between Skirball Center Drive and Sunset Boulevard was restricted to residents with identification only, the LAFD said.
The Getty Center museum and Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades will be closed today but are scheduled to reopen Saturday.
Photo: Getty Images