Firefighter Hurt As Crews Make Progress In Skirball Fire

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The museum is now working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. Strong winds helped push the fire uphill, putting homes and residents in danger.

"The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty", Ron Hartwig, the Getty's vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times.

"We are still in the middle of an aggressive and active firefight on the ground", said Robert Welsbie, spokesman for the Ventura Fire Department.

As massive fires rage to the north and east of Los Angeles, a brush fire has broken out east of the 405 freeway near homes and cultural institutions. Here a vehicle passes by a wall of flames on the 101 highway as it reaches the coast near Ventura, California, about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

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The Thomas Fire, the largest of the blazes, is burning through Ventura County towards Los Angeles and is now more than twice the size of Washington DC and showing few signs of slowing. It is a bypass auxiliary route of Interstate 5, running along the southern and western parts of the Greater Los Angeles Area from Irvine in the south to near San Fernando in the north. It prompted the 405 Freeway to close in both directions between 101 and 10. Around 2,200 residents remained evacuated and several schools were closed, including UCLA, although the university's medical facilities remained open. Neither is Bel-Air CC, though CBS Los Angeles said the course closed Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution". A full list of closed schools is available at www.lausd.net.

Dozens of schools were closed Wednesday, as was Santa Monica College.

Their luxury home in Bel-Air, which they had just put on the market three days ago, was "in the middle of it all", he said. That blaze destroyed about 500 homes and led to various policy changes, including a prohibition on wood-shingle roofs and the strict requirement to remove brush from around properties.

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