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Monday 21st May 2018

Former ‘Today’ Co-Host Shares Terrifying Video of Raging LA Wildfire

The flames are causing chaos

A raging wildfire caused chaos for many Hollywood insiders Wednesday, and former Today show host Katie Couric tweeted terrifying video from the heart of the flames.

The 475-acre plus Skirball blaze, one of many burning in Southern California, struck the exclusive celebrity enclave of Bel-Air and threatened nearby areas where numerous stars reside.

Read More: TV Fans Pray For Stars’ Safety as Raging Wildfire Halts Filming

Katie tweeted the awe-inspiring video from the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday as flames licked close to a heavily traveled freeway. It was unclear who actually shot the footage.

At least four homes had been destroyed by the flames as of Wednesday evening, according to Los Angeles television station KABC.

Stars including Chelsea Handler and Lea Michele said they were forced to evacuate their homes, and by Wednesday afternoon, the fire had advanced on billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch's $30 million Bel-Air vineyard estate.

Murdoch told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday that he believed that "the winery and house are still intact" but that some buildings in the vineyard area may have been damaged.

Read More: Fans React to Ann Curry's Huge New Gig

He added, "We are monitoring the situation as closely as we can and are grateful to the efforts of all first responders. Some of our neighbors have suffered heavy losses and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time."

The so-called Skirball Fire erupted Wednesday morning in the Sepulveda Pass area of Los Angeles, and burned dangerously close to the Getty Center museum. (Credit: KABC-TV)

Lea Michele said that she had to "throw her cat in a bag" to escape the fire, telling Entertainment Tonight, "You have to kind of just take the things that mean the most to you and be OK to roll with whatever."

"As long as I have my cat, I literally don't care about anything else. Nothing else matters. So, that was it. I'm shaking still," Lea said of the terrifying experience.

Lea Michele posted this pic to her Instagram story as she evacuated Wednesday morning. (Credit: Instagram/@leamichele)

KABC reporter Leslie Lopez tweeted astounding aerial video of the fire inching toward the world-famous Getty Center museum.

The footage showed flames shooting from the hills early Wednesday morning as cars snaked across the nearby 405 Freeway.

Lopez reported that officials had just closed the busy highway to traffic.

The fast-moving blaze was spurred on by Los Angeles' notorious Santa Ana winds, which were expected to continue blowing until Friday, meaning that as of Wednesday evening, the fires were unlikely to be contained anytime soon.

On Tuesday, the TV shows Westworld and S.W.A.T. were forced to shut down production when another fire encroached, and as of Wednesday, both productions were still shut down.

Everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Eva Longoria tweeted their sadness about the situation.

Eva tweeted that while she was in New York, her brother was forced to evacuate her home, writing, "This is literally my exit off the freeway. Please stop what you’re doing a say a quick prayer that this fire and all the fires in so cal right now get contained immediately."

Ellen wrote, "If you live anywhere in Southern California, your life is being impacted by the fires today."

Maria Shriver sent her thoughts to the firefighters, and wrote, "I've had many friends who have had to evacuate."

Update: the fire was later reportedly determined to have been started by a cooking fire at a homeless encampment.