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Live updates: Evacuations underway in Los Angeles as Getty Fire explodes to 500 acres
 


The Getty Fire in Los Angeles erupted early Monday and is forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes as winds reach extremely dangerous levels in Southern California.

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Getty Fire

Burning in the hills north of Los Angeles’ famous Getty Center, the Getty Fire, which started just before 2 a.m. local time, has consumed 500 acres. The Getty Center and Getty Villa are safe, but many houses were ablaze.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect in Los Angeles from the 405 freeway to the ocean — which spans some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Southbound lanes of the 405 freeway, the busiest highway in the country, are now closed.

PHOTO: A firefighter watches as flames approach the Mandeville Canyon neighborhood during the Getty fire, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles.Christian Monterrosa/AP
A firefighter watches as flames approach the Mandeville Canyon neighborhood during the Getty fire, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles.
PHOTO: The Getty Fire burns next to the 405 freeway in the hills of West Los Angeles, Calif. Oct. 28, 2019. Gene Blevins/Reuters
The Getty Fire burns next to the 405 freeway in the hills of West Los Angeles, Calif. Oct. 28, 2019.

In Los Angeles’ upscale Brentwood neighborhood, fire crews put out fires on multiple homes early Monday as the sky glowed orange from the flames and dense smoke.

LeBron James said he was among those forced to evacuate from his home overnight.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he also evacuated in the middle of the night.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s parents also evacuated, and the mayor Monday morning urged anyone in an evacuation area to leave immediately. He said he saw five homes destroyed.

“We’ve seen fires and tragedies were people have believed they could stay,” Garcetti said. “Do not do that. The only thing you cannot replace is you and your family.”

Roughly 25,000 people live in the evacuation zone, the mayor said.

Natalie Rodriguez, a nursing student at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, said she woke up to the smell of smoke just before 2 a.m.

“Even inside the dorms it was very smoky and it was hard to breathe,” Rodriguez told ABC News. “You could feel the heat from the flames that were so close to us on the other side of the mountain.”

PHOTO: A firefighter gets in position to hose down flames as a home burns in the Getty fire area, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
A firefighter gets in position to hose down flames as a home burns in the Getty fire area, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles.

“It was just a very scary experience,” she said. “Something that I didn’t think I would ever have to experience.”

As she and her roommates fled campus, the sky was bright orange — even though it was the middle of the night. Rodriguez said she safely evacuated to her family’s home.

UCLA has canceled Monday classes.

The cause of the quickly spreading blaze is under investigation but Garcetti said it was not caused by homeless encampments.

PHOTO: A firefighting helicopter flies over the Getty Fire as it burns in the hills west of the 405 freeway in the hills of West Los Angeles, Oct. 28, 2019. Gene Blevins/Reuters
A firefighting helicopter flies over the Getty Fire as it burns in the hills west of the 405 freeway in the hills of West Los Angeles, Oct. 28, 2019.
PHOTO: A helicopter drops water as the Getty fire burns on Mandeville Canyon, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
A helicopter drops water as the Getty fire burns on Mandeville Canyon, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Officials warned that the blaze won’t come to an end on Monday. Throughout the day, the conditions in Los Angeles will be extremely dangerous for fire growth.

Dry Santa Ana winds are expected throughout the day, leaving Angelenos in an extremely critical fire risk area. Gusty winds and dry conditions can cause an existing fire to behave erratically and any spark could quickly expand into a major blaze.

Wind gusts already reached 66 mph in the Los Angeles area early Monday.

Kincade Fire

The Getty Fire is just one of the dangerous blazes burning in the Golden State.

In Northern California, the monster Kincade Fire has been burning since Wednesday night and has consumed over 66,000 acres in the heart of wine country.

Nearly 200,000 people have evacuated as the massive inferno rages on. Rough winds, including a 93 mph gust, contributed to the Kincade Fire rapidly growing over the weekend. Containment fell from 10% to 5%.

PHOTO: Firefighters survey Soda Rock Winery as it begins to burn during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, Calif., Oct. 27, 2019. Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters survey Soda Rock Winery as it begins to burn during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, Calif., Oct. 27, 2019.

Ninety-six structures have been destroyed and tens of thousands are still threatened.

Over 4,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, and two firefighters suffered burn injuries, including one seriously.

All Sonoma County public schools are closed Monday and Tuesday.

Winds are forecast to weaken in Northern California on Monday, giving fire crews a chance to tackle the massive blaze. But critical fire conditions are expected to return to the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing gusts up to 40 mph.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

ABC News’ Matt Gutman, Alyssa Pone, Alex Stone and Marilyn Heck contributed to this report.