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People Are Posting Terrifying Videos of Their Commutes Through the LA Wildfire

A massive wildfire is raging in west Los Angeles, prompting evacuations from nearby homes in Bel-Air, and the closure of the northbound 405 freeway. According to local reports from the Los Angeles Times and LA Daily News, four homes have been destroyed by the enveloping brushfire, after Santa Ana winds sparked the blaze early Wednesday morning. 

With city officials explaining that the fire is expected to get bigger before it is contained, the landscape surrounding the Getty Museum and Skirball Center on the city's westside is quickly becoming charred. Los Angeles denizens shared surreal photos and video of the fire on their daily work commutes in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday morning. 

They are honestly pretty jarring:  

What's being called the Skirball Fire, the Los Angeles blaze is the third wildfire to rage through Southern California since Monday. The Thomas Fire erupted north of Los Angeles in neighboring Ventura County on Monday, impacting some 65,000 acres in Ventura and its foothills, according to a Reuters report. The Thomas Fire jeopardized some 12,000 homes in the area, according to authorities. In LA's San Fernando Valley, the Creek Fire wreaked havoc en route to destroying at least 30 homes, per Reuters. 

The cumulative effect of the fires is so severe that NASA captured satellite images of the immense smoke: 

NASA

Unfortunately, the Skirball Fire is expected to worsen before it gets better, with LA Fire Department Capt. Cody Weireter telling the LA Times: "You’ve got heavy, heavy brush, you’ve got the dryness -- obviously, we haven’t had any rain at all. A lot of the fire is topography-driven, which already becomes dangerous. The wind is going to increase that twofold.”

NASA makes similar conclusions, writing that Santa Ana wins pouring into the hills are likely to crest upwards of 70mph before the week is over. 

"Winds in the area could reach 70 mph and this would have a devastating effect on the fire's movement.  The fire has consumed over 50,000 acres at present as it jumped over Highway 101 and moved towards the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of homes and structures have been destroyed in this latest round of wildfires in California," the space agency wrote citing satellite data. 

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing up state government funds to help fight the blaze. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster