Parts of Malibu evacuated as wildfire spreads

By | November 9, 2018

Parts of Malibu have been evacuated as the California wildfire approaches the seaside community.

Officials initially indicated that the entire city was at risk of the raging flames, but have now specified a western area making up approximately two-thirds of the popular tourist destination.

Those who live there have been warned of an “imminent threat” to their safety, with thousands of people being urged to flee however they can.

A resident looks at approaching flames as firefighters battle flames overnight during a wildfire that...
Image: The fire first broke out further north

“It is critical that residents pay close attention to evacuation orders,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted.

“This is a very dangerous wind driven fire.”

US media reports that schools have also been closed and evacuated due to the fire, and animals have been moved out of the LA Zoo in Griffith Park.

Thousands of homes have been evacuated as the fire rips through  communities
Image: Thousands of homes have been evacuated as the fire rips through communities

The so-called Woolsey Fire began its approach towards Malibu on Friday, having already wreaked havoc and destruction throughout the town of Paradise and across the Santa Monica Mountains.

California fire captain Scott McLean said earlier that “pretty much the entire community of Paradise is destroyed”.

No fatalities have been reported, the fire department added, and Kanye West and wife Kim Kardashian West are among those to have taken to social media to confirm that they are safe.

The fire first broke out on Thursday, northwest of Los Angeles, and roared south, with an estimated 75,000 homes evacuated in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

Malibu houses about 13,000 residents – including a number of celebrities – and many have shared pictures of busy roads as scores of cars take to the roads in a bid to escape.

The LA County Sheriff’s Office said it was receiving “many emergent phone calls” from people who “need our help to evacuate” and urged motorists in the area to be aware of emergency vehicles.

Paradise Inn was gutted by the blaze
Image: Paradise Inn was gutted by the blaze

Feather River Hospital, near Paradise, was in the path of the fire
Image: Feather River Hospital, near Paradise, was in the path of the fire

Strong blustery winds combined with dry conditions have helped the blaze spread, after weeks without rain and low humidity at the height of the wildfire season in north California.

Captain McLean said the fire had grown to almost 110 square miles.

In the San Francisco Bay area, some 180 miles away from Paradise, locals have been encouraged to stay indoors due to worsening air quality caused by smoke from the fire.

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The air has become hazy and the smell of smoke is overwhelming, prompting officials to declare it unhealthy.

They are advising older people and children to relocate any planned physical activities indoors.

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