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Getty blaze expected to be fully contained today

Posted: September 16, 2012 7:14 a.m.
Updated: September 16, 2012 7:14 a.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Getty Center art museum reopened for visitors on Saturday with firefighters estimating that a wildfire burning nearby will be fully contained today.

The blaze, which erupted about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Sepulveda Pass on the east side of Interstate 405, had burned through 90 acres of mountain brush by midday Saturday, said fire department Lt. Brian Humphrey.

About 150 firefighters were battling the flames with the help of water-dropping helicopters, he said.

The firefighters achieved 90 percent containment by the late afternoon with no injuries reported and no structures under threat, he said.

The Getty Center, home to one of the world's major art collections that includes works by Cezanne, Rembrandt, Titian and Vincent van Gogh, evacuated visitors and staff on Friday as a precaution and closed.

The museum has an array of systems and procedures to protect itself from flames, such as fire-resistant walls, a special ventilation system to keep out smoke, a complex sprinkler system and a backup reservoir. The area around the Sepulveda Pass has burned many times

Humphrey urged visitors to use detours to visit the mountaintop site as exit ramps off the freeway may still be closed.

The fire broke out during a day of torrid temperatures in Los Angeles, and further dry, hot weather is forecast throughout the weekend.

With temperatures predicted to reach 105 degrees in some inland areas of Southern California, authorities issued a warning about heat-related illnesses.


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