The Thomas Fire, which is raging through Avrea's hometown, is the largest of five active fires burning around the Los Angeles area.
In issuing his emergency proclamation to secure state and federal disaster resources, Brown cited the destruction, the threats to critical infrastructure and the high winds.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, has not named any potential causes for the fires, which erupted Monday evening.
As neighborhoods turned into scenes of vast ruin and freeways closed down, California got a frightening replay of the October infernos in Wine Country that killed 44 people, destroyed 8,900 structures and, like the Thomas Fire, were driven by nighttime windstorms that blasted flames from more rugged areas into communities built along the edge of the wildland.
The largest blaze, the Thomas Fire, burned more than 36,000 hectares after it destroyed more than 150 homes and threatened thousands more in Ventura, about 80 km northwest on Los Angeles.
In Bel-Air, that's exactly what they did.
"This just shows us that there is no fire season anymore", McLean said.
The Skirball Cultural Center, which features museum exhibits and other events related to Jewish life and Israel, announced on Twitter it would be closed until further notice, and ticket holders for exhibits in the coming days would be reimbursed.
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Among the last to go was Evan Kleib, a bearded photographer, locking his door. The fire broke out in the Rye Canyon Loop and grew to 5,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon. They also help large animals like horses when they can. "We're very grateful but I know we're not out of the woods".
"We are fine and we will be fine. thinking of everyone else affected and continuing my lifelong intense love of firefighters", she added.
Residents of wealthy LA neighborhoods between Mulholland Drive to the north and Sunset Boulevard to the south were part of the evacuation zone.
Flames exploded before dawn on the steep slopes of Sepulveda Pass, which carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains where ridge tops are covered with expensive homes.
"You don't expect things like this", Jake Sandell, a resident of Santa Paula in Ventura County, told Reuters TV.
The winds, which blow in hot and dry from the California desert, could reach 75 miles per hour (120 kph) on Thursday and create "extreme fire danger", according to an alert sent by the countywide emergency system in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the so-called Creek Fire blackened more than 11,000 acres.
US President Donald Trump tweeted a message of "thoughts and prayers" to California as it nears the end of its deadliest year ever for wildfires.
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