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Los Angeles 405 Freeway closes in rush hour as wildfires spread [photos]

By Tuesday, more than 150 structures reported destroyed near Ventura, Calif.

A wildfire consumes a home Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosive wildfires northwest of Los Angeles and in the city's foothills burned a psychiatric hospital and scores of homes Tuesday and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A wildfire consumes a home Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosive wildfires northwest of Los Angeles and in the city's foothills burned a psychiatric hospital and scores of homes Tuesday and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Bloomberg) -- A major commuter artery in Los Angeles closed Wednesday morning and some of the city’s wealthiest estates, including Rupert Murdoch’s Moraga vineyard, were ordered evacuated as Southern California firefighters battled several wind-fanned wildfires.

Stretches of Interstate 405 were shut and neighborhoods near the freeway and Mulholland Drive, including parts of Bel-Air, were being evacuated, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Residents were warned by text messages.

Skirball fire


The 405 connects the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica and other major job centers on the west side of Los Angeles. Flames were visible from the road, according to photos posted on social media. About 220 firefighters are on the scene of what is being called the Skirball fire, due to its proximity to the Skirball Cultural Center, a Jewish museum and events space.

Related: California wildfires expected to cause record insurance loss, Aon reports

A series of fires stretching from Ventura, California, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, to some of the city’s far-flung suburbs prompted road closures and evacuations. More than 150 structures were reported destroyed near Ventura on Tuesday. Dozens of schools in Ventura and Los Angeles counties were closed.

The Getty Center, a prominent museum nearby, was closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday to protect the collection from smoke damage, according to the center’s website. 

Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside near the Springs of Life Church in Casitas Springs, Calif.

Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside near the Springs of Life Church in Casitas Springs, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Wind-driven fires tore through California communities Tuesday for the second time in two months, leaving hundreds of homes feared lost and uprooting tens of thousands of people. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Murdoch estate


Murdoch’s Moraga Estate, where the media mogul operates a winery and lives with wife Jerry Hall in a 7,500-square-foot house, is in the evacuation zone. No one answered the phone at the estate early Wednesday, and officials at Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Murdoch acquired the property in 2013 for $28.8 million.

The University of California at Los Angeles is located adjacent of the evacuated area. The school said it’s closely monitoring the situation.

The fires also cut the value of a major power provider in the area. Shares of Edison International resumed declines on Wednesday, a day after their biggest slump in 15 years wiped out more than $3 billion in market value.

President Donald Trump, who owns a home in Beverly Hills, tweeted that his thoughts and prayers were with Californians affected by the fires and thanked emergency personnel for their work.

Keep reading for more photos of the devastation in Southern California:

A Los Angeles County firefighter puts water on a burning roof during a wildfiA Los Angeles County firefighter puts water on a burning roof during a wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angelesre in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles

A Los Angeles County firefighter puts water on a burning roof during a wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Ferocious winds in Southern California have whipped up explosive wildfires, burning a psychiatric hospital and scores of other structures. Tens of thousands of people have been ordered evacuated. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

A news photographer takes pictures of a wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles

A news photographer takes pictures of a wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their Ventura, Calif., home as flames from a wildfire consume another residence

James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their Ventura, Calif., home as flames from a wildfire consume another residence on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The couple evacuated early Tuesday morning as the fire approached, but returned to retrieve medications and other property. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Smoke rises behind a leveled apartment complex as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif.

Smoke rises behind a leveled apartment complex as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Bob Pazen's home is a smoldering ruin after after a wildfire swept through Ventura, Calif.

Bob Pazen's home is a smoldering ruin after after a wildfire swept through Ventura, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Pazen was in bed Monday night when his son came in and told them they needed to evacuate. Pazen, his wife, son and the family dog evacuated from the home, grabbing just a few pieces of clothing and jewelry. When he came back to check on his home Tuesday morning, his house was fine, but when he returned later, the house was fully engulfed in flames. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)

Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif.

Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Daniel Dreifuss via AP)

Flames consume a home on Via Arroyo as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif.

Flames consume a home on Via Arroyo as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

An apartment complex burns as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif

An apartment complex burns as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Flames consume a home on Via Arroyo

Flames consume a home on Via Arroyo as a wildfire rages in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A truck drives along the 101 Freeway as a wildfire continues to burn

A truck drives along the 101 Freeway as a wildfire continues to burn Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Related: 10 things your clients need to know about wildfires

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