A wildfire driven by the dry, seasonal Santa Ana wind destroyed dozens of expensive homes as it raced through the canyons and hills above Malibu on Saturday, forcing hundreds of residents to flee. No injuries were reported. The blaze, feeding on brush and trees, began shortly before 3:30 a.m. PST near Malibu Lake on state park land and had charred roughly 2,200 acres by late morning, said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mike Brown. Fire officials estimated about 35 homes were destroyed but the exact number wasn't known. TV images showed flames consuming large homes in the area of expensive real estate. One home believed to be lost was valued at more than $2 million. The cause of the fire had not been determined. About 500 firefighters were at work on the blaze, aided by 10 water-dropping helicopters, but had not contained any part of it by midmorning. Hundreds of firefighters had been placed on watch for the weekend as the Santa Ana wind returned to Southern California. Gusts up to 60 mph were reported in some mountain passes during the night. Saturday's blaze was less than a mile from the area of last month's 4,565-acre Canyon Fire, which destroyed six homes, two businesses and a church. That fire, blamed on downed power lines, also began during the early morning and forced dozens of people to flee / By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press Writer /.
Fire engulfs dozens of homes near Malibu
24 November 2007 23:51 (UTC+04:00)