A wildfire is endangering property and causing road closures just outside of downtown Los Angeles. Here’s how to stay safe—and how to help recovery efforts

Firefighting Helicopter
Mario Tama/Staff/Getty Images

Northern California has been ravaged by wildfires, and now it’s Southern California’s turn. Much of the west side of Los Angeles has been choked with fire, smoke, and traffic as parts of the city near the Getty Museum were evacuated early Monday. 

As of mid-day Monday, the fire had covered over 600 acres, caused the closure of the 405 Freeway, and forced the evacuation of 10,000 homes. Several have burned already. Parts of the city are without power, as well, part of an effort to keep downed power lines from sparking more fires.

If you’re planning on visiting the greater Los Angeles area, beware that road closures are causing even greater traffic problems than normal. Call ahead before setting out to ensure that places you are planning on visiting or staying at are open.

If you have plans to visit Southern California, you may be wondering if you should postpone your trip. As of Monday, our recommendation is to go ahead and travel. The Los Angeles area is large and you will be able to stay out of harm’s way. You’ll need to be prepared to be flexible in your travel plans, though—and prepared for the possibility of very poor air quality. Stock up on masks before you go. And if you live in or around Los Angeles, consider investing in an air purifier.

If you’d like to help, here is  a list of charities we compiled during a wave of California wildfires in 2017. Many of them are set up to aid any part of the state. And don’t underestimate the power of your tourism dollars. Booking future trips and going ahead with planned travel, so long as it’s not in the heart of the Pacific Palisades evacuation area, is a win-win way of helping a community recover.