It was the very beginning of the notorious commute on the 405 Freeway on Wednesday morning around 4:30 a.m.
Traffic was flowing smoothly through the Sepulveda Pass — until commuters noticed a glow around the Getty Center.
It was a fast-moving brush fire that was growing rapidly up the hills on the east side of the 405, moving toward homes in Bel Air.
Several drivers captured the surreal moment on video and shared them on social media.
California Highway Patrol logs show motorists calling officials asking what to do.
Several homes in Los Angeles' Bel-Air neighborhood were burning, and the 405 was closed in both directions.
A large swath of Bel-Air was also under evacuation order.
Residents near Bel Terrace and North Sepulveda Boulevard raced outside their homes Wednesday morning as flames neared their homes.
Beverly Freeman, 83, pulled out of her driveway ahead of the flames just before 7 a.m. She didn't take any belongings with her.
As Freeman drove away from the two-story gray house that her husband built for her three decades ago, she was not sure if she would have a home to return to.
"I was going to die in this house," she said as tears came to her eyes. "The flames have never come so close."
This was a view of the fire from the Sepulveda Boulevard:
And here is the view from the air: