LA's Getty Center was built with fire protection in mind

An example of firefighters at work

The fire broke out near the 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said. One of many dramatic videos uploaded by commuters passing the fire in the early morning hours ominously captures the highway exit sign for Getty Center Drive against a backdrop of a hillside blanketed in flames.

Firefighters battle the Creek fire Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at a home on Kagel Canyon Road.

Fifty-two Los Angeles Unified School District schools and another 40 charter schools citywide will be closed amid smoky air through Friday in response to the Skirball Fire and other blazes in the area, a district official said.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, one of the private properties damaged by the Skirball fire is the $28.8-million winery and estate of News Corp. The 405 Freeway, a major commuting highway, also has been closed.

"Calls are being rerouted so you will get help!" the station tweeted.

The state is now closing portions of the highway, according to the Los Angeles Times. The fire is not contained in the slightest. Officials said the fire has destroyed at least 150 buildings, including an evacuated mental health facility. "Our thoughts are with all our neighbors, and our thanks to the first responders working to keep us safe".

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"In a wind-driven event, wind is king", Hogan said. California Gov. Jerry Brown also declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The Getty Center, which has an air filtration system to protect its galleries, is closed Wednesday due to smoke from all the area wildfires.

The Skirball Fire is one of several fires burning in southern California since Monday.

Wind gusts were forecast to top out at 70 miles per hour (115 km per hour) on Wednesday and remain strong through the week.

As fire swirled around them Wednesday, employees at the Getty Center, which is now featuring masterpieces by the Italian painter Caravaggio, announced on Twitter that the art galleries would be closed.

"I suppose that's good news we don't have anybody", said Kirstin Zullo, the shelter coordinator at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center in West Los Angeles.