Fire in Sepulveda Pass forces evacuations

LOS ANGELES The fire burned just west of the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center offramp. Approximatley 80 acres burned, with the surrounding area still smoldering.

Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief Doug Barry said the fire was 90 percent contained.

The acreage burned and the containment was not expected to change over the next few hours.

Weather conditions were expected to improve. Winds remained calm, and humidity was expected to rise through the evening, and fog was expected to roll in after nightfall.

One firefighter, a foot crew member, was reported injured and hospitalized.

Sepulveda Boulevard remains closed between Getty and Sunset.

The 405 Freeway on- and off-ramps of Skirball Center Dr. are closed until noon Thursday. The northbound offramp to the Getty Center is also closed.

The area around the Getty, Mount Saint Mary's College and Mountain Gate Country Club was under a voluntary evacuation advisory.

The Getty Center and Mount Saint Mary College were evacuated as a safety precaution Wednesday afternoon. Getty officials estimate 800 employees were working in the complex Wednesday, and an unknown number of visitors were at the center.

The fire was reported at 12:45 p.m.

Arson investigators were on scene. The cause of the fire is thought to be accidental, caused by sparks from weed-abatement crew tools.

No buildings or homes were reported damaged.

L.A. City Fire Department reported that at the fire's peak, five helicopters were working the fire, with about 355 firefighters on the scene. Ground crews were battling flames lower on the slope of the hill. Helicopter water-drops were steadily used over the fire.

Firefighters were getting a good handle on the fire because winds are calm.

The fire approached the Mountain Gate Country Club, but firefighters managed to defend the property. The club was not evacuated.

The L.A. City Fire Department says the surrounding landscape hasn't burned in many years so there is a lot of tinder burning in steep, rough terrain.

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