Destructive Woolsey Fire Burns 97,620 Acres, At Least 453 Structures Lost

Fire crews are bracing for a seventh day of fighting the Woolsey Fire as a strong Santa Ana wind event promises gusts of up to 40 miles per hour in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The fire, which has burned 97,620 acres, destroyed at least 453 structures, and still threatens another 57,000. 

The fire is currently 47 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said. 

Significant progress was made by firefighters in some areas of the blaze, with several evacuation orders lifted Tuesday:

  • Hidden Hills has been fully reopened to all residents within the city limits. That includes the area of Valley Circle Boulevard, east of Crummer Canyon Road, and north of the Ventura (101) Freeway all the way to the northern city limits. 
  • All evacuation orders were lifted in Calabasas, with the exception of homes south of Mulholland Highway. 
  • Parts of Westlake Village were also opened from the city limit on the west, from the intersection of Westlake Boulevard and Sycamore Canyon Drive north, to the boudaries of Ventura County and city of Agoura Hills. 
  • Agoura Hills has also reopened the areas that the fire impacted: Chesebro Road on the eastern border, and Agoura Road (north and south sides of the road) from Chesebro Road to the west. 
  • Other neighborhoods in Agoura Hills were also reopened, including those south of Agoura Road, East of Cornell Road, west of Las Virgenes Road and north of Mulholland Highway. Southern California Edison warned customers in the area that power may still be out there. 
  • Some parts of the unincorporated Topanga area, including neighborhoods north of Viewridge Road, south of the Los Angeles city limits, east of Topanga Canyon Blvd and west of Double Ranch Road or Santa Maria Road. 
  • The eastern section of Malibu, including those neighborhoods west of Coastline Drive; east of Carbon Mesa Road and from the ocean to the city limits. 
  • Not all areas in Malibu have been reopened. Fire officials caution that a full closure at Tuna Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway and neighborhoods north of PCH and Tuna Canyon Road. 
  • Topanga Canyon Boulevard is still closed, and evacuation orders remain in effect for those neighborhoods north of PCH and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. 

The following areas inside the City of Malibu will be re-opened to residents only after 2 p.m. Wednesday. 

  • Pacific Coast Highway from Carbon Canyon Road (east) to Webb Way (west)
  • From the ocean to the northern City limit
  • Neighborhoods of Serra Retreat and Sweetwater Mesa
  • IMPORTANT EXCEPTION: The Malibu Colony neighborhood and Civic Center area will remain closed

More information on where evacuated residents can return home is available by clicking here. 

Fire crews are still struggling with many fires burning deep in the Malibu Canyon area where they can't access. 

"We're doing a lot of air drops but it's not safe for our firefighters to go in there,” he said. “Our concern is that when the wind shifts (likely on Thursday) ... that fire does not blow out of there and then creep over to the south side of Malibu or into Topanga Canyon.

"When it's safe to let people come back home, we will."

A town hall meeting Tuesday night at Santa Monica High School's Barnum hall began with applause and cheers for first responders, but many residents became frustrated at what they saw as a lack of answers from fire officials. 

“They were not prepared, the fire department was not prepared,” said 45-year Malibu resident Forrest Stuart told KCAL9. “My house was saved by my next door neighbor who is an 85-year-old retired, decorated fire chief. He and his wife are 85 and they stood there all night and knocked away embers that hit my house. I'm pretty angry about it.”

Conditions in the evacuation areas had Los Angeles County officials re-issue warnings to residents to not return home until conditions have been deemed safe. 

"Although it may appear that fire threats have passed in some communities, officials warned that the situation remains unstable and can shift dangerously with changes in wind patterns and other unpredictable factors," an advisory sent by officials Tuesday noted. 

The sheriff's department has repeatedly reassured residents who have been evacuated that their homes are safe from looters. More than 600 deputies are patrolling the fire affected areas on 12-hour rotational shifts, authorities say. 

At least three firefighters have been injured while working the Woolsey Fire. Malibu City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner is currently recuperating at a hospital from conditions related to his effort to save his home from the blaze Friday night. 

Two people found dead inside a burned vehicle in a long driveway in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway. Homicide detectives are currently investigating the deaths. 

Nearly 3,600 firefighters from agencies across the U.S. have been assigned to the blaze. Resources include 22 helicopters working the fire from above, with a total of 619 engines, 48 water tenders, 23 bulldozers, and 57 hand crews currently on-scene. 

More than a half-million gallons of fire retardant has been dropped on the Woolsey Fire, and 1.5 million gallons of water, Cal Fire said. 

Pepperdine University announced that the school's Malibu and Calabasas campuses would remain closed through Thanksgiving. All Malibu schools in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District will also remain closed until at least Thursday, district officials said. 

Topanga Elementary Charter School will remain closed on Wednesday and for the foreseeable future, "until roadways around the school are reopened and the school is no longer within an evacuation zone." 

Information about the fire for Los Angles County can be found at www.lacounty.gov/woolseyfire. The city of Malibu has also established a website for residents on information about the fire, which can be found here at www.malibucity.org/woolsey.

Evacuations

As of 11/13/18

While some areas of Los Angeles County are being repopulated, evacuation orders remain in effect for the following areas:

  • Some areas in the city of Malibu are still under mandatory evacuation.
  • Calabasas: All residences off Parkway Calabasas, including The Oaks, Vista Point, Westridge, Calabasas Hills, Calabasas Park Estates
  • Monte Nido, Topanga communities
  • Liberty Canyon west to Decker Canyon and south all the way to PCH
  • Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon on the east to Decker Canyon on the west all the way to Malibu at PCH
  • Oak Park – Entire Community
  • Bell Canyon – Entire Community
  • South of Bard Lake, east of Highway 23
  • South of Highway 101. East of Reino Rd., north of Potrero Rd., east to the L.A./Ventura County line
  • West Hills, west of Valley Circle Blvd with border to the north at Roscoe Blvd and to the south at Vanowen Street
  • Thousand Oaks – T.O. Blvd. – North to Sunset Hills, from Oak Park west to HWY 23
  • West of HWY 23 – South of E. Olson Road, North of Pederson Rd.
  • South of Bard Lake, East of HWY 23
  • South of HWY 101, East of Reino Rd., North of Potrero Rd., East to the L.A./Ventura County line

Repopulation: Areas No Longer Under Evacuation Orders 

As of 11/13/18

Check this map to see if a property is in the evacuation zone or is being repopulated. Mandatory evacuation areas are in red, and areas being repopulated are in green.

The following areas are open to residents and businesses as of 3:00 p.m. on 11/13/18.

Parts of Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills, including neighborhoods that are:

  • South of Agoura Road
  • East of Cornell Road
  • West of Las Virgenes Road
  • North of Mulholland Highway

*Per Southern California Edison, sections of the city of Agoura Hills may be without power at the time of the reopening of the area.

The northern section of the unincorporated Topanga, including neighborhoods:

  • North of Viewridge Road
  • South of the Los Angeles City limit
  • East of Topanga Canyon Boulevard
  • West of Double Ranch Road or Santa Maria Road

The southern section of the City of Malibu and parts of unincorporated Malibu, including the neighborhoods that are:

  • On Pacific Coast Highway
  • West of Coastline Drive
  • East of Carbon Mesa Road
  • From the ocean to the Malibu City limits with the following exceptions:
    • FULL CLOSURE at Tuna Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway. Evacuation orders remain in effect for neighborhoods north of PCH and Tuna Canyon Road.
    • FULL CLOSURE at Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Evacuation orders remain in effect for neighborhoods north of PCH and Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
    • FULL CLOSURE on Rambla Pacifico Drive 400m north of PCH

NOTICE: Sheriff’s personnel will be maintaining a checkpoint at Pacific Coast Highway and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Only RESIDENTS of the repopulated areas in the City of Malibu will be permitted to enter this area.

NOTES: SAFETY MESSAGE – The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation warnings. A reminder to drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area. There will still be smoke in the respective areas as firefighters continue firefighting operations. If you feel unsafe at any time, please call 911.

SoCal Edison is warning residents that sections of the City of Calabasas may be without power when the area reopens. 

Current Road Closures: 

As of 11/13/18

Click here for a full list of road closures

  • Cheney Trail, Alzada Rd to Brown Mountain Truck Trail
  • Chesebro Rd, Driver Av to Chesebro Cyn Rd
  • Mureau Rd, Calabasas Boundary to 101 Freeway
  • Cornell Rd, Mulholland Hwy to Kanan Rd
  • Decker School Rd, Decker Canyon Rd to Nicholas Ridge Mtwy
  • Encinal Canyon Rd, Malibu Boundary to Mulholland Hwy
  • Mulholland Hwy, Pacific Coast Hwy to Stunt Rd (North Of)
  • Malibu Canyon Rd/Las Virgenes Rd, Malibu Boundary to Mulholland Hwy
  • Corral Canyon Rd, Malibu Boundary to Mesa Peak Motorway
  • Latigo Canyon Rd, Malibu Boundary to Kanan Dume Rd
  • Kanan Rd And Kanan Dume Rd.

Shelters

As of 11/12/18 at 11:105 a.m.

  • Taft Charter High School – 5461 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91364 (at capacity)
  • Pierce College – 7100 El Rancho Dr., Woodland Hills, CA 91371 (Entrance off Desoto Ave.)
  • Canoga Park High School
  • Palisades Charter High School

Animal Shelters

As of 11/12/18 at 1:00 pm

*Animals in crates are accepted at all Red Cross shelters EXCEPT Palisades Charter*

Shelter Locations At capacity? Yes/No

  • Pierce College - Yes (small animals only) - 7100 El Rancho Drive Woodland Hills, CA 91371 (Entrance off Desoto Ave.) (at capacity)
  • Hanson Dam - Yes
  • Borchard Community Center No. Accepting small animals ONLY
  • AV Fairgrounds - Ample space for large animals
  • Taft High School - Accepting small pets ONLY, with or without crates
  • Agoura Animal Care Shelter- Closed, under mandatory evacuation

If you need large animal assistance, please call (818) 991-0071

Los Angeles County Animal Services

  • Hansen Dam Equestrian Center – 11127 Orcas Avenue, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342 (at capacity)
  • Los Angeles County Animal Services
  • Earl Warren Show Grounds – 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 Check-in at Gate C off of Calle Real
  • Accepting large animals

If you need large animal assistance, please call (805) 388-4258

Photos: Getty Images. Andrew Mollenbeck, Monica Rix, Kris Ankarlo, Corbin Carson

title

Content Goes Here