LeBron James said Monday that he was one of the tens of thousands of people who were forced to flee their homes in Northern and Southern California in the face of wildfires that have cut power to millions and sent the state into crisis.
“Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms,” the N.B.A. star, who lives in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, wrote on Twitter. Shortly after, he added, “Finally found a place to accommodate us! Crazy night man!”
James and his family were fleeing the Getty fire, which broke out early Monday in western Los Angeles. In Sonoma County in Northern California, north of San Francisco, the Kincade fire has grown to cover nearly 85 square miles, with thousands of firefighters working to fight it back.
The Getty fire has grown to cover more than a third of a square mile in western Los Angeles, officials there said. About 500 firefighters were battling that fire, which prompted evacuations in neighborhoods including Mountaingate, West Los Angeles and Brentwood.
James has a complicated history with Southern California, a region he has said he “hated” after playing a team from the area in eighth grade, according to “LeBron’s Dream Team: How Four Friends and I Brought a Championship Home,” a book he wrote with Buzz Bissinger.
That first impression wouldn’t last, though. Since then, James has bought two homes in Los Angeles, started a production company there and developed an interest in the city’s art scene. And, of course, last year James announced that he would leave his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a $154 million, four-year deal.
[While California fires rage, the rich hire private firefighters.]
After finding a place to stay on Monday, James tweeted that he was praying for others in the area and praised those working to contain the blaze.