More than 1,000 firefighters were fighting a new fire on Monday near the famous Getty Center museum in Los Angeles which already destroyed several homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of people, including basketball star LeBron James and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The so-called ‘Getty Fire’ exploded at night near a highway and quickly spread south and west, burning 250 hectares , in a spotlight that joins the others that have hit the state of California in the middle of last week. of strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity.
The star of the Lakers told on Twitter how he had to leave his house in the elegant neighborhood of Brentwood during the night. “These fires in Los Angeles are no joke,” he wrote. “I had to evacuate my emergency house.”
The Getty Museum closed its doors to the public. But his incalculable collection, which includes Edouard Manet’s ‘The Spring’, “is protected by the most advanced technology,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I’m always afraid of a fire,” Gregory Monette, who lives near the spotlight where Getty started, told AFP. “We haven’t had fires in this area specifically, but you always worry when it’s fire season.”
Helicopters threw water to help contain the fire, whose cause is under investigation, The Getty joins the series of forest fires that plague California in the last week, forcing massive evacuations and power outages that affect millions.
The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, declared on Sunday the state of emergency throughout the state when a fire named Kincade in the Sonoma wine region expanded without control due to high winds, forcing 180,000 people to evacuate .
Kincade, which exploded last Wednesday, had razed an area of more than 26,800 hectares, or 267 km2, twice the area of the city of San Francisco, located south of the affected area.
The red carpet for the premiere of the movie ‘Terminator Hidden Destination’ , starring Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton and scheduled for this Monday night in Los Angeles, was canceled.
“We will donate to the United States Red Cross all food purchased for the party to serve people affected by the fires,” the Paramount study said in a statement.
Authorities said the area affected by Kincade would remain on red alert until Monday, while police redouble their efforts to guard the evacuated properties and prevent looting.
In an attempt to reduce the risk of fire, California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) cut off the electricity supply to hundreds of thousands of customers in northern and central California.
The company has been subject to intense scrutiny after it was known that one of its transmission lines may have unleashed Kincade. The same happened in 2018, when the same type of line caused the Camp fire, the deadliest in California’s history, in which 86 people died.
PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, has been accused of several fires in the state in recent years.