MALIBU (CNS) - At least 670 structures were destroyed inside the Malibu city limits in last month's Woolsey fire,including more than 400 single-family homes with an estimated market value of at least $1.6 billion, it was reported this morning.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the estimates are based on an analysis of aerial imagery and property records conducted by The Times and Zillow, the real estate website.
Los Angeles County emergency officials and state fire investigators haven't released an official damage assessment of structures in Malibu. The Times identified destroyed buildings using property data and post-fire aerial footage released by Vexcel Imaging, a company that mounts cameras to fixed-wing airplanes and flies over areas after natural disasters.
The damage documented by The Times is just a portion of the almost 97,000 acres burned by the Woolsey fire, which destroyed a total of 1,500 structures in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and killed three people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
That makes the Woolsey fire one of the most destructive wildfires in state history, and the number of homes lost in Malibu is expected to surpass the totals recorded in devastating blazes there in 1993, 1982, 1978 and 1970, among others.
The median market value of the homes destroyed was about $3.47 million, said Matt Kreamer, the data public relations manager at Zillow.
In a first for a wildfire since 1935, the flames crossed Pacific Coast Highway into Point Dume, destroying numerous homes along Wandermere Road and Dume Drive, according to a review of historic fire perimeter data.
The worst destruction occurred in the city's western neighborhoods, with areas such as Malibu Park, near Zuma Beach, losing scores of homes, including one designed by Frank Gehry and once owned by actor Patrick Dempsey.
The Malibu flames burned structures of all sizes, ranging from 400 to 13,000 square feet, according to county property records. Among the most valuable homes destroyed was an oceanfront villa near El Matador State Beach. It had been on the market for $25 million.
A mansion nearby that sold for $12 million in 2007 was also destroyed.
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