Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Evacuated: Firefighters 'Doing a Tremendous Job' Protecting It

The Getty Fire began when a tree branch fell on some power lines during a strong wind event about 1:30 a.m. Monday morning in the Sepulveda Pass.

Fire officials anxious that high winds, forecast to gust to 70 miles (113 km) per hour or more, would lift embers from smoldering hot spots and carry them into unburned vegetation, re-igniting and spreading flames anew.

"Our focus was taking full advantage of those conditions overnight", said Margaret Stewart, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman. During a press briefing Monday, Cal Fire officials said almost 60 homes have been destroyed and at least a dozen more have been damaged.

"It only takes one ember to blow downwind to start another fire", Terrazas said.

The flames have come within three quarters of a mile (1.2 km) of the Getty Center's office buildings, and a mile (1.6 km) from structures housing art, burning in a wildland area of the more than 600-acre complex, Lapin said. It threatened 6,500 home and forced school closures and evacuations.

The Reagan Library is home to hundreds of artifacts and interactive displays about the 40th US president, and includes replicas of the White House's Rose Garden and White House South Lawn.

A new large wildfire broke out early Wednesday in Southern California, forcing mandatory evacuations at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and nearby neighborhoods.

Southern California Edison has already shut off power to more than 100 customers and is monitoring an additional 206,000 customers for possible shutoffs in Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties in the coming days.

About 7,000 homes, or around 26,000 people, were ordered evacuated, authorities said.

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The DWP does extensive brush clearing and branch removal around its power lines.

Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters Tuesday there is no evidence of arson and the cause of the blaze was not intentional.

The National Weather Service says Santa Ana winds developed more slowly than expected in southern California but strong gusts are topping 50 miles per hour. The fire is now five percent contained, and authorities have chose to temporarily reopen a mandatory evacuation zone.

In Northern California, where firefighters struggled for a sixth day against a 76,000-acre (30,760-hectate) blaze in Sonoma County's winemaking region, high-wind forecasts prompted Pacific Gas and Electric Co to impose a new round of blackouts for almost 600,000 homes and business.

The combination of powerful offshore winds and dry air is expected to bring "very high fire danger" to the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Pacific Gas and Electric has cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses as a fire prevention measure.

By late afternoon, crews had managed to confine the blaze to about 650 acres (263 hectares) while carving solid containment lines around 15% of its perimeter, up from 5% a day earlier.

"I can't explain the feeling of packing a bag with the items I want to save from a fire", she said in an Instagram post describing how she and her husband chose daily essentials and their wedding album.

Newsom and top utility regulators have accused PG&E of mismanaging its power system and failing for decades to make the investments needed to adequately modernise and safely maintain its equipment.

  • Sonia Alvarado