Calabasas Residents Evacuated as Brush Fire Spreads


The 516-acre brush fire spread throughout Saturday evening, damaging several structures in the area and evacuating 5,000 residents.

A third-alarm fire on Saturday resulted in mandatory evacuations of approximately 5,000 residents in the Calabasas area of Los Angeles. The now 516-acre brush fire is 75 percent contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Old Fire" spread throughout Saturday evening, damaging several structures in the area, the L.A. County Fire Department told The Hollywood Reporter. Four helicopters were working to put out the flames as of Saturday evening.

The fire, likely started because of high temperatures and dry winds in the area, was first reported late Saturday afternoon near Mulholland Highway, KNBC reported, causing evacuations in the Highlands, Eddingham and Adamsville neighborhoods. The Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department stated that the fire started at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday when a pickup truck struck a power pole (on the 2300 block of Mulholland Highway) that fell down and caused a transformer to explode.

The fire started out ranging in 100 acres, but spread to more than 200 acres when it joined with two other fires in the area, which caused the sheriff to order mandatory evacuations. Calabasas residents were allowed back into their homes on Sunday, but evacuation orders remain in the hilly enclave of Topanga.

Three homes were damaged, but the extent of the damage wasn't clear, L.A. County Fire Capt. Keith Mora said. Other buildings, including some at a city park, also were damaged.

Fifty-foot-high flames erupted on ridges and embers turned trees into torches Saturday afternoon. The fire flared as Southern California sweltered under temperatures that hit the mid-90s in many places. Sunday's high in Calabasas was expected to be around 86.

Agoura High School is now the evacuation command post, with pets and animals being taken in at the baseball field.

Calabasas is home to many Hollywood names, including Ellen DeGeneres and Khloe Kardashian, who have tweeted about the fire. DeGeneres tweeted a thank you to her brother-in-law, who is a rescue worker on the scene. 

Sunday, June 5, 8:00 a.m. Updated with additional details of how the fire started and the number of residents evacuated. 

Sunday, June 5, 3:00 p.m. Updated with details of fire being 75 percent contained.