The fire broke out near the 405 Freeway and Mulholland Drive just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.
It prompted the 405 Freeway to close in both directions between 101 and 10.
The fast moving brush fire, dubbed the Creek Fire, began early Tuesday in Los Angeles County.
About 100 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were sent to the neighborhood to handle evacuation orders, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
The fires in Southern California have quickly spread, forcing authorities to shut down the 405 freeway near the Getty Center.
So far the fire in Ventura County has burned 31,000 acres and has forced 27,000 thousand people to evacuate. Reports indicated that at least one home had been damaged but firefighters told reporters at the scene that four or five others had also caught fire.
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But by early Tuesday afternoon, the eastern boundary of the evacuation area had been expanded to the Haynes Canyon area. Padilla said she and her family were able to get out of her home just in time but were not able to take their horses with them as they had to evacuate immediately when they were awakened Tuesday morning.
Evacuation centers have been established at Delano Recreation Center, 15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys; Balboa RC, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys; Sherman Oaks RC, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks; and Westwood RC, 1350 Sepulveda Blvd., Westwood.
Students at a variety of Los Angeles Unified School District campuses were affected by the fire, with students diverted to alternate campuses to keep them out of the fire's path. All other Sylmar-area schools will remain open.
For small animals, shelters were in place at West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St., and the East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St.
Osby said high winds hindered the deployment of firefighting fixed- wing aircraft, although more than a half-dozen water-dropping helicopters were being used in the effort. Santa Ana winds and low humidity are making the firefight hard.