Thousands evacuate as wildfire destroys homes near Malibu

MALIBU, Calif. -- Authorities on Saturday confirmed the discovery of two bodies in Malibu, which remained under mandatory evacuation order as the Woolsey Fire that started near Simi Valley continued its destructive path for a third day.

An estimated 100 structures were destroyed and thousands of others threatened as the devastating Woolsey Fire, which started near the Los Angeles-Ventura county border Thursday and burned out of control Friday.

In Ventura County, officials reported two incidents of looting that occurred on Friday. One of two arrests made involved a vehicle pursuit, Sgt. Eric Buschow said.

Two deaths were reported in the Malibu area and were possibly related to the fire, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Nani Cholakians, KTLA reported.

The fire had jumped the 101 Freeway in Agoura and grown to more than 70,000 acres Saturday morning, up from the estimated 35,000 reported Friday evening.

President Donald Trump Friday declared an emergency in the state of California and ordered federal assistance to supplement local response as three major wildfires burn across the state.

The nearby Hill Fire burned 4,531 acres in the Thousand Oaks area, but that blaze was not spreading any further Friday, so officials were able to concentrate on the Woolsey Fire. As of late Friday, that fire was 15 percent contained.

Helicopter video and news crews on the ground captured dozens of homes going up in flames. Among the destroyed buildings: Paramount Ranch, an iconic set used in TV shows and films from "Westworld" to "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

The 101 Freeway was closed just before 6 a.m. as flames from the Woolsey Fire stretched across lanes to the south side near Liberty Canyon Road, the LA County Fire Department tweeted.

Ventura County Fire Department Captain Scott Dettorre told KTLA he was concerned that as the fire crossed the freeway “it will make its historic and typical run all the way down Pacific Coast Highway. Threatening more homes, more property, more lives.”

Mandatory evacuations in the City of Malibu were issued a short time later. The entire city was placed under a mandatory evacuation order at 10 a.m.

As flames continue their march toward the ocean, residents attempting to evacuate were urged to head south toward Santa Monica before turning further inland.

The nearest evacuation center was at Palisades High School, located at 15777 Bowdoin St, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.

Crews are doing everything possible to get control of the fire, Dettorre said. “Be patient. Have Faith. It’s going to be a process. It’s going to take some time,” he said.

Woolsey fire facts

The fire began about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Woolsey Canyon, east of Simi Valley.

It had burned 35,000 acres as of 4:30 p.m. Friday. No injuries have been reported.

More than 75,000 homes were under evacuation orders in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, Fire Department stated in a Friday morning news release.

More than 20,000 residents have been evacuated, L.A. County Fire Department County Capt. Tony Imbrenda told KTLA.

Approximately 56,000 people are without power in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

A smoke advisory is in effect for parts of the western San Fernando Valley and portions of northwest coastal L.A. County.

An advisory has been issued for areas in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties due to winds carrying ash and dust.

Mandatory evacuations

Los Angeles County

  • The entire City of Malibu
  • All of Hidden Hills
  • Monte Nido
  • Topanga Canyon
  • All residences off Parkway Calabasas, including The Oaks, Vista Point, Westridge, Calabasas Hills, Calabasas Park Estates and the Estates at the Oaks.
  • Areas south of the 101 Freeway from the Ventura line to Malibu Canyon. Residents should use PCH to evacuate and avoid canyon roads.
  • North of Kanan Road, west of Lindero Canyon to the 23 Freeway extending north of Sunset Hills Boulevard along Erbes Road to Olson Road.
  • North of Sunset Hills Boulevard, South of Olson Road and west of the 23 Freeway.
  • South of 101 Freeway, north of Mulholland Highway, west of Las Virgenes Road, east of Westlake Boulevard.
  • The neighborhood West of Valley Circle Boulevard, between Roscoe Boulevard and Vanowen Street, in West Hills.

Ventura County

  • Saddlebow between Maverick Lane and Morgan Road in Bell Canyon, north of the 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle, east of the 23 Freeway.
  • Oak Park, entire community
  • Wood Ranch (See map here)
  • Long Canyon (See map here)
  • Long Canyon Road to Valley Gate Road
  • Thousand Oaks – Thousand Oaks Blvd. north to Sunset Hills, from Oak Park west to Highway 23
  • West of Highway 23 – south of East Olsen Road, north of Pederson Road
  • South of Bard Lake, east of Highway 23
  • South of Highway 101, east of Reino Road, north of Potrero Road, east to the L.A. / Ventura County line
  • Point Mugu Naval Base
  • All areas of Camarillo Springs
  • All areas of Vallecito Trailer Park
  • All areas of California State University Channel Islands
  • Parts of Dos Vientos (see map here)
  • Parts of South Coast (see map here)

Voluntary evacuations

  • Lake Sherwood and the area south of Highway 101 and north of Potrero Road between Westlake Boulevard and Wendy Drive in Thousand Oaks.Updated information on evacuations and road closures can be found on VCEmergency.com and the L.A. County website.

Evacuation Centers

Evacuation centers are open Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Borchard Community Center, Rancho Santa Susana Recreation Center, Camarillo Community Center, Thousand Oaks Teen Center, and Goebel Adult Community Center are open in Ventura County.

Taft High School and Pierce College are open to people in Los Angeles County. An evacuation center was also opened at Palisades High School, located at 15777 Bowdoin St, in Pacific Palisades.