The Woolsey fire nearly tripled in size on Friday, destroying dozens of homes and forcing total evacuations of Malibu and Hidden Hills in one of the worst L.A. blazes in recent memory.
At a late afternoon news conference, fire officials said the fire had jumped to 35,000 acres — up from 14,000 acres earlier in the day. Officials had also ordered an evacuation of Topanga Canyon as the fire spread with no containment. No injuries have been reported so far. TV news footage showed a number of lavish estates on fire, though a total number of structures was not yet available.
“Fire is now burning out of control and heading into populated areas of Malibu,” the city advised residents at 12:27 p.m. “All residents must evacuate immediately.”
TMZ reported that Caitlyn Jenner’s home in the Malibu hills had been destroyed. The site also reported that the fire was burning on the property of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. Kardashian West later tweeted that the flames had died down, and expressed gratitude to firefighters. Jenner posted on Instagram that she was safe, adding “Don’t know if the house made it or not.”
The MPTF tweeted that all residents at the organization’s Woodland Hills campus are safe and that family members will be notified in the event of an evacuation.
Scott Derrickson, the director of “Doctor Strange” also reported on Twitter that his house was destroyed.
Lady Gaga posted an Instagram story saying she had evacuated her Malibu home on Friday morning. Smoke could be seen blanketing it her home later in the day.
Other Malibu residents include Barbra Streisand, Robert Downey Jr., Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston and NBA star Kevin Durant.
The evacuation orders caused a massive traffic jam on Pacific Coast Highway, as the CHP converted the northbound lanes to allow southbound traffic. A four-mile stretch of the 101 freeway was also closed. Evacuation centers were set up at Palisades High School and at Taft High School in Woodland Hills.
A second fire, the Hill fire, burned 6,100 acres near Thousand Oaks, but died down on Friday. In Northern California, at least five people were killed in the Camp fire, which destroyed the community of Paradise, near Chico.
Malibu and the surrounding areas have been hit by many devastating wildfires over the years. In 1993, the Old Topanga Fire burned 16,800 acres and destroyed 369 homes, killing three.
In 1978, a fire destroyed 230 homes in Agoura, Malibu and Mandeville Canyon. One of the worst fires in state history hit the area in September 1970, destroying 400 homes and killing 10 people. Ninety-nine homes were destroyed in the same area in 1956.
|Caitlyn Jenner’s Malibu Home