The Latest: Utility: Power lines may have started 2 fires
SANTA ROSA, California (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):
The Pacific Gas & Electric Co. utility says its power lines may have started two wildfires over the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The company reported the incidents near the town Lafayette to state regulators on Monday.
PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that a worker responded to the first fire around 4:45 p.m. Sunday and was told firefighters believe contact between a power line and a communication line may have caused it.
A worker went to another fire about an hour later and was told firefighters are investigating a transformer as a possible ignition source.
PG&E is under severe financial pressure after its equipment has been blamed for a series of destructive wildfires in Northern California.
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has tweeted photos showing the campus of The Getty Center unharmed by a wildfire raging nearby and has prompted evacuation orders for 10,000 homes and businesses.
The fire started early Monday near The Getty Center and has moved westward through canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods, burning some homes.
The museum says its artworks are protected by state-of-the-art technology and that the “safest place for the art and library collections is inside.”
The Getty Villa separate museum on an ocean-view bluff overlooking Santa Monica Bay is also said to be safe.
Northern California firefighters during the night made an aggressive effort to attack a fire burning in Sonoma County’s wine country, fearing it would reach the town of Windsor. The community’s 28,000 residents have been evacuated.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Jonathan Cox said Monday that firefighters brought in what he called significant resources to fight the wildfire.
Ryan Walbrun of the National Weather Service said an improved weather outlook should help firefighters.
The fire started last week and has been fanned by extremely heavy winds. It has destroyed 96 buildings so far and threatens 80,000 structures in several wine country communities.
It was only 5 percent contained. Nearly 200,000 people remain under evacuation orders because of fire threat.
Classes have been canceled at the University of California, Los Angeles because of the wildfire raging in the city that has prompted evacuation orders for 10,000 homes and businesses.
UCLA said in a statement Monday that the fire poses no threat to the campus but that many UCLA community members live in evacuation areas or could face difficulties commuting because of road closures.
The fire started at about 1:30 a.m. on the west side of Interstate 405 in the Sepulveda Pass that passes through the Santa Monica Mountains and has moved west. UCLA’s campus is on the eastern side of the highway.
Classes in Northern California have been canceled for 40 school districts in Sonoma County north of San Francisco because of a large wildfire.
Classes are also canceled at the University of California, Berkeley, because of pre-emptive power outages aimed at preventing utility infrastructure from sparking fires.
Los Angeles wildfire evacuee David Boyle says he woke up at 3 a.m. to his doorbell ringing and police officers pounding on the front door.
Boyle lives in the Brentwood neighborhood and said Monday at an emergency shelter that the officers told him he had to evacuate immediately as a wildfire advanced toward his home near the Getty Center museum.
The blaze erupted on the city’s west side before dawn Monday and threatened thousands of homes. Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate.
Boyle says he grabbed dog food and his wife’s jewelry and hustled his dogs, Cokie and Jackson, out the door to the Westwood Recreation Center.
Mandy Favaloro and her husband, Nick Jackson, say they were already packed when the evacuation orders came for homes a block away. They left with their dog, Radar, for the recreation center as a precaution.
California Fire spokesman Jonathan Cox says the Northern California fire in Sonoma County wine country that began last week has destroyed 96 buildings so far still threatens 80,000 homes in several wine country communities.
It was only 5 percent contained. Nearly 200,000 people remain under evacuation orders because of fire threat.
Firefighters are hoping to make progress on the blaze Monday before strong winds return Tuesday.
California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., cut power to more than 2.5 million Californians over the weekend in an effort to prevent its electrical wires from sparking more wildfires.
Officials at the University of California, Los Angeles, say the big Los Angeles wildfire nearby is not a threat to the campus.
The fire erupted before dawn Monday on the western side of Interstate 405 in the Sepulveda Pass that passes through the Santa Monica Mountains and has burned through canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods where some homes have burned.
UCLA is on the eastern side of the highway.
A university statement says the campus is outside the evacuation area that covers about 10,000 buildings.
The evacuation area encompasses some of the most exclusive real estate in California, where celebrities and executives live in mountain and ridgetop retreats that costs tens of millions of dollars.
The hills that provide seclusion are covered in thick tinder-dry chaparral vulnerable to wind-driven fires.
American Red Cross officials say about 100 people fleeing a wildfire in Los Angeles have showed up at an emergency shelter set up at the Westwood Recreation Center.
Dozens napped on cots in the gym Monday morning while others walked their dogs outside or had free coffee and breakfast.
Red Cross Santa Monica Bay chapter executive director Julie Thomas says the evacuees seem anxious and want more information about their homes.
The blaze erupted on the city’s west side before dawn Monday and threatened thousands of homes.
Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate.
A wildfire that has been burning in Northern California’s wine country since last week grew overnight as nearly 200,000 people remain under evacuation orders.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday that the fire in Sonoma County north of San Francisco now spans 103 square miles (267 square kilometers). That’s up from 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) on Sunday.
The fire has destroyed 94 buildings including 40 homes and is threatening 80,000 structures. Most of those structures are homes.
The fire started Oct. 23 near the town of Geyserville in Sonoma County. It is 5% contained.
Airplanes dropping water and fire retardant have joined the battle against a destructive wildfire burning on the western side of Los Angeles.
Night-flying helicopters made water drops during predawn hours Monday and large aircraft started flying the area after the sun rose.
Two so-called “Super Scooper” turboprop airplanes that scoop up water from lakes and reservoirs have begun making drops, along with converted jets unleashing loads of bright pink retardant.
The fire erupted around 1:30 a.m. in Sepulveda Pass where a highway passes through the Santa Monica Mountains and roared up slopes into canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods including Mountaingate and Brentwood.
About 10,000 homes and businesses are in areas subject to mandatory evacuation orders.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says a wildfire burning in canyon neighborhoods on the city’s west side has grown to 500 acres (202 hectares).
The mayor says he has seen five burned homes since the blaze began early Monday and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas says he believes the number of destroyed homes will rise.
The fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. near Interstate 405 on the west side of Sepulveda Pass where Interstate 405 passes through the Santa Monica Mountains. It roared up slopes to the city’s Mountaingate area and westward into canyon and ridgeline neighborhoods of Brentwood.
Mandatory evacuation orders extend southwestward through Pacific Palisades to the ocean. They affect 10,000 residential and commercial buildings.
The fire chief says Santa Ana winds blowing out of the northeast are expected to continue until 2 p.m.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says some homes have burned in a wildfire on the city’s west side but so far there have not been extensive losses.
The fire erupted early Monday morning in Sepulveda Pass, which carries Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains.
The mayor says the fire is believed to have grown to about 400 acres (162 hectares), pushed by winds from 15-20 mph (24-32 kph).
Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott says about 3,300 homes are threatened in the Mountaingate and Mandeville Canyon areas but mandatory evacuation orders have expanded southwestward.
A Southern California fire has grown to more than 250 acres and around 3,300 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Capt. Erik Scott says at least two structures were burning by around 5 a.m. Monday. The fire started around 1:30 a.m. Monday along Interstate 405, near the Getty Center.
Scott says the 405 remains open and the Getty is not currently threatened by the fire, which is moving west. He said the greatest threat at the moment was to the Mountain Gate and the Mandeville Canyon and Bundy areas in western LA County.
No injuries have been reported at this time. Around 500 firefighters are fighting the fire.
Basketball star LeBron James is among evacuees as a fire that erupted early Monday in Southern California grows to more than 70 acres (28 hectares).
The Los Angeles Lakers player tweeted just before 4 a.m. that he was trying to find rooms for his family after having to “emergency evacuate” his house, calling the fires “no joke.” He later tweeted that he found accommodation, said he was praying for those affected and advised people to get to safety.
As of 4:30 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said the fire was moving in a westward direction. The Mandeville Canyon and Mountain Gate communities remains under a mandatory evacuation order that verges into Brentwood, and the evacuation warning area has been expanded westward to include parts of Topanga State Park and the Pacific Palisades.
Evacuation centers are open in Westwood and Sherman Oaks.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordering mandatory evacuations after a fire erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum.
The department posted an alert Monday advising everyone to leave the Mountain Gate and Mandeville Canyon communities between Mandeville Canyon Road and Interstate 405 north of Sunset Blvd.
Although the Getty Center is nearby, officials say the facility was built with thick walls and doors to compartmentalize any flames.
Mount Saint Mary’s University tweeted that its Chalon campus near the Getty has been evacuated under orders from the LAFD. Students were taken to its Doheny campus.
The blaze comes as the Tick Fire near Santa Clarita was 70% contained as of Sunday night. Up north, crews are grappling with a wildfire in Sonoma County that officials say covers 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).
A fire has erupted on a hillside near the Getty Center museum in Southern California.
California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball tells the Los Angeles Times that the fire became apparent before 2 a.m. Monday. Videos posted on social media show the fire burning along the southbound side of Interstate 405.
KABC-TV reports that the freeway has since been closed.
The cause of the fire and its size was not immediately known.
The Los Angeles Times reports the Santa Ana winds began to pick back up Sunday night and were expected to last through Monday, increasing fire risks.
The blaze comes as the Tick Fire near Santa Clarita was 70% contained as of Sunday night. Up north, a crews are grappling with a wildfire in Sonoma County that officials say was 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).
Millions of people in Northern California are on track to have lights come back on, but some may not be restored before another round of strong winds threaten to damage power lines and spark fires.
Electricity is expected to begin being restored by Monday, though Pacific Gas & Electric Co. warned it might cut power again as soon as Tuesday with a forecast of strong winds expected to last until Wednesday.
The utility notified more than 1.2 million people that they may have their electricity shut off for what could be the third time in a week.
Nearly 200,000 people are under evacuation orders as crews grapple with a wildfire in wine country that fire officials say was 85 square miles (220 square kilometers), destroyed 94 buildings and was threatening 80,000 buildings Sunday night.
Associated Press writers Daisy Nguyen and Janie Har in San Francisco, Christopher Weber in Los Angeles and Julie Watson in San Diego contributed to this report.