Hollywood Homes Threatened by Skirball Fire (Updated)

Hollywood Sign-Getty-H 2019
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Neighborhoods including Bel Air and Mandeville Canyon — home to Gywneth Paltrow and Ari Emanuel — have been evacuated following a 150-acre fire that began early Wednesday morning.

The Skirball Fire which started in Los Angeles early Wednesday morning is threatening multimillion dollar estates in nearby neighborhoods, including Bel Air, Brentwood and Mandeville Canyon, which is home to several high-profile Hollywood elite such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Ari Emanuel.

According to the L.A. Times, mandatory evacuations were issued to "large swaths" of Bel Air," as well as homes between Mulholland Drive on the north and Sunset Boulevard on the south. Authorities are not issuing an official evacuation but are advising residents to leave Mandeville Canyon, which has recently become a Westside haven for Hollywood thanks to its privacy and "country living." The fire reached 150 acres by 9:40 a.m. but is expected to grow due to 25 mph winds. On Thursday morning, the LAFD reported that it was 5 percent contained; 11 structures have been damaged, and 4 homes have been destroyed, however there are no reported injuries.

Mandeville Canyon is home to Paltrow (who purchased a $10.4 million home in 2012 with then-husband Chris Martin), showrunner Bill Lawrence, Lachlan Murdoch and Dr. Dre, who lives in the neighborhood's gated community, Brentwood Country Estates. Arnold Schwarzenegger also owns a home in the neighborhood. Previous residents of Mandeville Canyon include Norman Lear, Harrison Ford and Tom Selleck.

Bel Air is also a hot celebrity neighborhood, boasting residents like Jennifer Lopez, who reportedly purchased a $28 million estate last year, and Jennifer Aniston, who just yesterday showed off her $20 million estate for a Smart Water ad.

GOP pollster Frank Luntz, whose Brentwood compound features replicas of the Oval Office and the Lincoln Bedroom, could see flames from his bedroom this morning. Luntz has hosted the likes of Clint Eastwood and Warren Beaty at his estate.

Rupert Murdoch's $30 million vineyard, the Moraga Estate, is also being threatened by the Skirball fire, according to NBC News. The property, which the Fox News CEO purchased in 2013, is on Moraga Drive, which was one of the first streets to be evacuated Wednesday morning. Sources say the property has been tinged by the fire, however no structures appeared to be burning.

Chelsea Handler, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Adrienne Maloof, and TV personality Frankie Grande (half brother of Ariana Grande) are among those to evacuate their homes.

The Skirball Fire also threatens the Getty Museum, which tweeted that the Getty Center will be closed to the public Wednesday and that air filtration systems were in use to protect the galleries from smoke. On Wednesday evening, the museum tweeted that The Getty Center and the Getty Villa would both be closed on Thursday. The museum tweeted Thursday afternoon that it would reopen on Friday, Dec. 8.

The Getty Center is regularly used as an event space for the fashion industry; Fendi hosted a cocktail party there just last month for a new exhibition of Caravaggio paintings on loan from Galleria Borghese in Rome.

Both Joel Silver and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel live near the Getty Center — however, the fire has so far been contained to east of the 405. Should the fire cross to the west side, scores of industry people could be in its path.  

The fire is just under five miles away from UCLA, which decided to cancel classes for the day. It also resulted in the closure of the 405 freeway between the 10 and the 101; the freeway is reopen as of 2:20 p.m. More than 400 fire fighters have been deployed to the area, according to the LAFD.

Several organizations have been sharing ways that residents can assist those in need. Baby2Baby, an organization which provides supplies to children and families, launched a registry and is collecting items for those affected. VCA Animal Hospitals are offering free boarding for pets of evacuated families. Evacuation centers have also been set up, reports KTLA. (More info here.)

The Skirball Fire is one of several Southern California wildfires ravaging the area this week. 

2:30 p.m. Dec. 6: Updated with news of the reopening of the 405.