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The number of structures destroyed in the Woolsey Fire jumped to more than 370, authorities revealed on Monday morning. But the blaze is now said to be 20 percent contained.
The fire, which began around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, has burned 91,572 acres. Mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for the cities of Malibu, Calabasas and Hidden Hills and the communities of West Hills, Monte Nido, Gated Oaks and Topanga. Repopulation began Sunday night for Agoura Hills and Westlake Village residents.
The many structures that have burned in the fire include vineyards, historical sites and homes, including residences of those in the industry such as actor Gerard Butler, director Scott Derrickson and musician Miley Cyrus. More than 250,000 people had been displaced in evacuations. Two deaths have been linked to the fire. Three firefighters have also sustained injuries battling the inferno.
Treacherous winds have helped the fire spread faster than any previous blaze. “This is the most destructive and devastating fire that I’ve witnessed since the 1993 fires,” Malibu City Councilman Skylar Peak noted on Saturday.
A Red Flag warning is in effect through Tuesday night. Authorities are on the lookout for looters and some arrests have been made, authorities said over the weekend. The state enacted the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to request assistance from other states.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday told The Hollywood Reporter, “I think the departmental people are professionals and in our experiences have been good in getting us the reimbursements and the federal assistance. Even if some things get politicized at the very top with snarky comments from the president.”
Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the ongoing emergency response to the major fires burning in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
“We have the best firefighters and first responders in the country working in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable,” Brown said in a statement. “We’re putting everything we’ve got into the fight against these fires and this request ensures communities on the front lines get additional federal aid.”
Brown added, “To those who have lost friends and family members, homes and businesses, know that the entire state is with you. As Californians, we are strong and resilient, and together we will recover.”
Approximately 8,000 firefighters, 1027 fire engines, 138 dozers, 145 hand crews, 101 water tenders, 48 helicopters and numerous firefighting air tankers from throughout the state are combatting the three large wildfires (Camp Fire, Butte County; Hill Fire, Ventura County; Woolsey Fire, Ventura County) in California.
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