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Sepulveda Pass fire closes 405 exit, traffic at a crawl

September 14, 2012 |  6:27 pm

PHOTOS: Fire in Sepulveda Pass

The northbound Getty Center offramp of the 405 Freeway has been ordered shut down at the height of rush hour as emergency crews scramble to fight a growing brushfire in the Sepulveda Pass, just east of the freeway.

The California Highway Patrol has also closed Sepulveda Boulevard between Moraga Drive and the Getty Center. The center itself was closed and evacuated earlier as a precaution.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department has requested the closure of the northbound 405 Freeway between the 10 and 101 freeways, but it was not clear whether the CHP would close it.

PHOTOS: Fire in Sepulveda Pass

More than 100 firefighters were battling the blaze as it climbed from the 405 up toward Moraga Drive, Los Angeles Fire Capt. Jamie Moore said. Homes are nestled along a cul-de-sac there in the hills of Bel-Air.

Traffic is largely at a standstill on the 405, but officials have asked drivers to exit as soon as possible. Drivers planning to take the 405 or Sepulveda Boulevard should find an alternate route or wait, CHP spokeswoman Charmaine Fajardo said.

“This is a good time for people to work late, to go to dinner, to do something else besides get on that freeway,” Fajardo said. “Stay away from the freeway.”

Drivers who are on the freeway could be stuck for a while, but aren’t currently in danger, Fajardo said. 

In the northbound lanes of Sepulveda Boulevard, just south of Sunset Boulevard, drivers made U-turns as traffic inched forward.

"It probably should take 20 minutes," said Stacie Zara, 37, a driver who was turning right onto Sepulveda from Cashmere Street. She was headed home to Sherman Oaks from work in Brentwood. "It's taken two hours."

Near the Skirball Cultural Center on Sepulveda, southbound traffic was at a standstill. Traffic headed north moved more quickly.

The closure comes 24 hours before the scheduled shutdown of the northbound 405 Freeway in preparation for Carmageddon II. The shutdown was scheduled to begin about 11 p.m. Saturday and last until 9 a.m. Sunday between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard.

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-- Laura J. Nelson, Wesley Lowery and Andrew Khouri

Photo: Firefighters attack blaze. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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