(CNN) — A new wildfire closed part of Interstate 405 early Wednesday near Los Angeles’ posh Bel Air area and prompted evacuations — one in a series of blazes that have scorched more than 83,000 acres, burned scores of buildings and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes over three days.
The closure of I-405 — a significant north-south artery in the country’s second-largest city — came after flames swept down the foothills toward the highway near Sepulveda Pass and the Getty Center arts complex as stunned motorists drove by shortly before 6 a.m.
“It was dark until I saw a gigantic ball of orange,” motorist Tiffany Lynette Anderson wrote on Instagram, where she posted a picture of fire raging beside the highway before it shut down. “On absolute fire. I’m grateful to be safe — truly grateful.”