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Los Angeles Jewish institutions close as fire threatens

09 December 2017

While art lovers anxious when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news.

"The prospects for containment are not good", Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference on December 5. The fires have been exacerbated by high winds.

The devastating blaze destroyed at least 30 homes and prompted mandatory evacuations that affected an estimated 150,000 residents, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Residents living west of the 405 should brace for evacuations as well in the event the flames cross the freeway.

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Los Angeles City firefighter Luis Vargas battles the Skirball Fire on Casiano Road in Bel-Air on Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017.

ABC 7 reported 350 firefighters from 52 engine companies were stationed at the scene, supported by helicopters making water drops and six fixed-wing aircrafts. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

Leo Baeck Temple, Stephen Wise Temple, American Jewish University's Familian Campus and the Skirball Cultural Centre all were closed due to the fire, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.

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The Getty Center was closed the day before the fire to prevent harm to its collection from smoke from existing fires in Los Angeles County.

"The Bel-Air fire took out a lot of homes, and it's in the same area as back then". Those who've evacuated will not be allowed to return home, police said. Here a auto 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. "Due to the brushfire in the vicinity, the Skirball will be closed today 12/6 until further notice", the institution announced in a series of tweets.

As the fire burned on Tuesday, the Foothill (210) Freeway was closed in both directions between the Golden State (5) Freeway and the Glendale (2) Freeway, but the freeway had been reopened by Wednesday afternoon, though some freeway ramps remained closed, according to the California Highway Patrol.

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Los Angeles Jewish institutions close as fire threatens