(Update as of 10am on Tuesday, October 29)
As I write this, 1,100 firefighters are battling the Getty Fire, which has burned 658 acres, destroyed eight homes, and damaged six others. Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for most of the area south of Mulholland, west of the 405, north of Sunset, and east of Temescal.
The Los Angeles Fire Department advises that the evacuation order will remain in place for the rest of the day and night, and will likely continue tomorrow. Very high winds are expected tonight, and there is a risk that the fire could spread, or that embers could spark another fire.
LAFD does not take the continued evacuation order lightly. They have carefully examined maps of the 1961 Bel Air Fire, which destroyed nearly 500 homes, and the 1978 Mandeville Canyon Fire, which destroyed more than 200 homes. They are concerned that winds could cause this fire to follow a similar path, and after reviewing anticipated weather conditions, they have determined it is unsafe to repopulate the area at this time.
While the weather is cooperative, which they anticipate will last until about 11 p.m., firefighters are working with aircraft to extinguish any flare-ups and mop up hot spots. They are currently focusing on structure protection and on building further containment lines before the winds hit.
If you are in the mandatory evacuation area, please notify anyone who might be visiting or working at your home to stay away. The LA Times reports that housekeepers and gardeners who have not heard from their employers have been trying to report to work in impacted areas.
If you are in an “evacuation warning” area, please be prepared to leave, and pay attention to the news and emergency alerts. If you are unsure if you are in an “evacuation warning” area, you can see the most current evacuation map at lafd.org/news.
The Westwood and Palisades Recreation Centers remain open 24 hours for any residents seeking shelter. Small animals are welcome in the Recreation Centers, and pets can also be sheltered at the WLA Animal Shelter. Very large animals can be sheltered at the Hansen Dam Horse Park.
Some important reminders:
- If you have not already done so, sign up for NotifyLA to get emergency alerts.
- Subscribe to alerts directly from LAFD. This will provide more detailed information on the fire.
- Review and follow LAFD’s Ready, Set, Go protocols. You can see a video, learn about a family escape plan, and more a https://www.lafd.org/safety/education/ready-set-go.
- Be prepared to leave quickly. If a wildfire threatens your neighborhood, act immediately. Back your vehicle into the driveway with the hood (front) facing the street. Next, roll up the windows, and load your vehicle with everything you want to take with you. Make certain your valuables are either in your vehicle or are safely stored in a (fireproof) safe.
- Leave early if LAFD issues a voluntary evacuation. Shelter in place if LAFD recommends sheltering in place.
- Red Flag warnings are in effect due to the hazardous wind conditions. Please observe all posted parking restrictions to ensure emergency vehicles can reach emergencies quickly.
- Leave immediately when a mandatory evacuation is ordered by LAFD or other authorities
- Please do not use fire roads unless directed to do so specifically by LAFD or proper authorities. During last Monday’s Palisades fire, some people used a fire road and drove into an evaluation area, putting themselves and first responders at risk.
- When evacuation orders are lifted, please be patient with our first responders. LAFD and LAPD will establish escorts and there will still be firefighters and police officers in the area with equipment. The pace of returns to evacuation areas is dictated by the need to keeping you, your family, and first responders safe.
- Sign up to receive more updates from my office in the future at https://11thdistrict.com/newsletter-signup/.
Thank you for your vigilance and for your partnership in keeping our communities safe.
Councilmember, 11th District