A brush fire broke out in the Sepulveda Pass this afternoon, sending up a smoke visible from around L.A. and the Westside.
ABC Eyewitness News estimated that more than 20 acres had gone up in smoke. The station also said Sepulveda Boulevard was shut down near the brusher. According to a statement from the L.A. Fire Department …
… the fire started at 3:36 p.m. near Sepulveda and Getty Center Drive.
An LAPD helicopter was over the scene, but no evacuations had been ordered yet.
Although flames appeared to be headed uphill toward a ridge of homes on the east side of the freeway,
water-dropping aircraft Super Scoopers would not be used, ABC7 reported.
[Added at 4:10 p.m.]: At least one water-dropping helicopter was one the scene.
[Added at 4:14 p.m.]: Flames were headed toward homes in Bel Air Estates, but the properties appear to have good brush clearance, according to reports.
[Added at 4:20 p.m.]: Fox11 was streaming its helicopter coverage of the fire, here.
ABC7 says 100 firefighters were on it, along with three water-dropping helicopters.
[Added at 4:40 p.m.]: Amid reports of a “spot fire” separate from the main blaze, there's speculation that arson could be at work and that the LAPD has said a fire-setter might be at work here.
We called the department and got Officer Cleon Joseph, who told us that's not entirely true, at least not yet:
We're just looking into it to see if it could be arson. We're not saying if it is or isn't.
[Added at 4:48 p.m.]: That second fire was put out, says LAScanner.
[Added at 4:55 p.m.]: As firefighters staged at Sunset Boulevard and Bellagio Drive near UCLA the Los Angeles Times reports (at least via Twitter) that nearby Mount St, Mary's College was being evacuated.
People at the Getty Center were told to go home as a precaution, even though the fire is on the other side of the freeway.
The Getty Center is closed Friday evening, September 14, due to a nearby brushfire. There is no imminent threat to the Getty.
— J. Paul Getty Museum (@GettyMuseum) September 15, 2012
[Added at 4:59 p.m.]: The LAFD states that only about 8 to 10 acres have gone up in smoke so far.
[Added at 5:04 p.m.]: The LAFD confirmed to the Weekly that there is a separate brush fire on the ridge above Beverly Hills near Mulholland and Coldwater Canyon drives.
That appears to bring the count to three separate fires, with one out, in the area.
[Added at 5:15 p.m.]: Several reports, including our City News Service feed, say two Super Scoopers planes are headed to what folks are calling the Getty fire in the Sepulveda Pass.
[Added at 5:22 p.m.]: LAFD spokesman Cecil Manresa was on the line with ABC7. From what we can gather, the Mulholland fire was under control, the Sepulveda Pass's second fire was a transformer-sparked blaze that was quickly doused, and firefighters are getting a handle on the main Getty fire.
[Added at 5:26 p.m.]: ABC7 says Mount St. Mary's “is open,” contrary to other reports.
Temperatures in the area, by the way, were said to be above 100 degrees.
[Update at 5:45 p.m.]: The LAFD reports that the Getty fire is now at about 40 acres.
[Added at 8:22 p.m.]: The LAFD stated at 7:53 p.m. that the blaze was 40 percent contained and had spread to 70 acres.
[Added at 8:25 p.m. Sunday]: On Sunday afternoon the LAFD announced it had achieved 100 percent containment and that the fire had ultimately reached 90 acres.