S. California fire destroys 'Western Town'

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CAMARILLO SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Southern California wildfires (all times local):

1 p.m.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has tweeted that Southern California's huge wildfire has apparently destroyed the TV and movie production location known as "Western Town" at the historic Paramount Ranch.

The National Park Service says it has no details or photos but the structures that formed Old West facades are believed to have burned on Friday.

The park service says the ranch served as locations for productions ranging from 1938's "The Adventures of Marco Polo" to TV's "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," and the more recent shows "The Mentalist" and "Weeds."

Western Town specifically was built for TV productions in the 1950s and was used for such westerns as "The Cisco Kid" and "Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre."

The location set in the mountains west of Los Angeles dates to 1927 when Paramount Pictures leased the ranch and began making films there.

Filming continued for decades even as the ranch changed hands. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980 but has continued to function as a filming location.

When not in use for filming, visitors could stroll through Western Town while hiking or ride through on horseback.

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11:35 a.m.

A mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu has been reinstated as one of California's major wildfires bears down on the enclave called home by many Hollywood stars.

A city-wide evacuation was ordered early Friday and then was scaled back.

But it has been extended again to include all of Malibu, a city of about 13,000 stretching along 21 miles (34 kilometers) of coast west of Los Angeles.

Traffic is jammed on sections of Pacific Coast Highway.

Some residents have evacuated to the parking lot of popular Zuma Beach.

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10:10 a.m.

Fire officials say evacuations due to a raging Southern California wildfire are expected to reach about 148,000 and structural losses are expected to be significant.

The so-called Woolsey Fire burning west of Los Angeles has surpassed 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) Friday morning and is continuing to grow.

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson says 45,000 people in Ventura County and 43,000 more in Los Angeles County were ordered to evacuate overnight.

Richardson estimates another 60,000 people will likely have to evacuate because the fire jumped U.S. 101 early Friday and is pushing toward the coast.

He says the fire's pace forced firefighters to focus on life-protection rather than saving structures and he expects that yet-to-be-determined number to be significant.

Another fire to the west has burned more than 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) in Ventura County but has slowed since reaching the footprint of a fire stripped away vegetation in 2013.

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9:40 a.m.

The director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services says fires across California have forced 157,000 people from their homes.

Mark Ghilarducci provided the figure at a news briefing on Friday.

Fires are burning in Northern and Southern California.

The fire near the Northern California town of Paradise has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Another fire northwest of Los Angeles has been swept southward toward the ocean by strong Santa Ana winds. Evacuation orders were issued for residents of the beachside community of Malibu.

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8:25 a.m.

The city of Malibu has reduced the scope a mandatory evacuation order for the beachside community as a wildfire approaches.

Malibu officials initially said the order issued early Friday applied to the entire city but have now defined an area that is approximately the western two-thirds of the community.

The fire erupted Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and has been swept southward toward the ocean by strong Santa Ana winds.

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7:25 a.m.

A raging Southern California wildfire has triggered a mandatory evacuation order for the entire beachside city of Malibu.

The fire broke out Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and roared southward, jumping the U.S. 101 freeway early Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains.

Malibu has about 13,000 residents and lies along 21 miles (34 kilometers) of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweets that the fire is headed to the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: "Imminent threat!"

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7 a.m.

Wildfires raging west of Los Angeles have forced school closures.

Pepperdine University has canceled classes Friday at its Malibu and Calabasas campuses. The Calabasas campus is also evacuated.

Malibu public schools are also closed.

To the west in Ventura County, Moorpark College is closed due to the impacts of fire and Wednesday night's deadly mass shooting in nearby Thousand Oaks.

California Lutheran University had already canceled Friday classes due to the shooting. Cal Lutheran says its Thousand Oaks campus is not under evacuation orders but residential students have been put on standby.

The Thousand Oaks-area Conejo Valley Unified School District also has closed all its schools.

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6:30 a.m.

Two wildfires raging west of Los Angeles have force thousands of people to leave their homes.

The Los Angeles and Ventura County fire departments say multiple buildings have been destroyed or damage, but exact numbers are not available early Friday.

The flames are being driven by Southern California's notorious Santa Ana winds, which blow from the northeast toward the coast.

Both fires erupted Thursday afternoon and have grown rapidly.

One fire that broke out near the northeast corner of Los Angeles has roared westward, jumped U.S. 101 in the Calabasas area and is surging up the Santa Monica Mountains.

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2:04 a.m.

Portions of Southern California remain under siege as two large brush fires are threatening numerous communities.

ABC7.com reports that one of the fires has now scorched 8,000 acres as winds picked up early Friday, with some 75,000 homes under evacuation orders along the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Los Angeles Fire Department Public Information Officer Erik Scott says the blaze has destroyed or damaged many buildings.

A second fire has been burning in the Santa Rosa Valley east of Camarillo, west of Simi Valley near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks. By Thursday evening, it had scorched up to 7,000 acres and sent residents of more than 1,200 homes fleeing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

No injuries have been reported in either fire.



 
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