The large smoke plume from the fire encroaching on Malibu on November 9, seen from the Pacific Coast Highway
|Location||Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, California, United States|
|Date(s)||November 8–21, 2018|
|Burned area||96,949 acres (39,234 ha)|
|Land use||Recreational and residential|
|Non-fatal injuries||2 civilians|
| Woolsey Fire Map (2018.11.10)|
- ArcGIS Esri
| Woolsey: US Wildfires|
Google Crisis Response
The Woolsey Fire was a destructive wildfire that burned in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties of the U.S. state of California. The fire ignited on November 8, 2018 and burned 96,949 acres (39,234 hectares) of land. The fire destroyed 1,643 structures, killed three people, and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 people. It was one of several fires in California that ignited on the same day. While the nearby Hill Fire was contained with minimal damage on November 16, the Camp Fire in northern California destroyed most of the town of Paradise.
The fire started in Woolsey Canyon near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in the Santa Susana Mountains above the Simi Valley near the boundary between Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The Santa Ana winds, which often are a factor for Southern California fires, pushed the fire in a southerly direction throughout the first day. The Ventura freeway between the San Fernando Valley and the Conejo Valley was closed as the fire crossed and headed into the rugged Santa Monica Mountains.
The fire raced through the chaparral-covered steep canyons where it encountered historic movie and TV sets, small ranches, and the homes of celebrities. Hundreds of homes in Malibu were destroyed or damaged on both sides of Pacific Coast Highway. Many of these were on Point Dume that juts out from the narrow coastal terrace that lies between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. While the firefighters successfully protected Pepperdine University to the south, the entire portion of the Malibu coast west to the community of Solromar suffered damage from the fire. Thousands of residents were kept away from their homes in numerous neighborhoods along the Ventura Freeway and the communities along the Malibu coast. The evacuations frustrated residents as they lasted for many days as the fire continued to threaten homes especially when the winds increased and fanned the flames. The evacuated residents were incrementally allowed to return to see if their home were damaged or destroyed as the fire continued to spread through the rugged wilderness at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Around 2:24 p.m. PST on November 8, 2018, a fire ignited on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory from unknown causes in Ventura County, California. Powerful Santa Ana winds, reaching 50 to 60 mph (80 to 97 km/h), caused the fire to spread rapidly and beyond firefighting capabilities. During the overnight hours into the early morning of November 9, the fire spread through Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills and soon crossed U.S. Route 101 near Calabasas. Aerial suppression of the fire was unable to commence until 5:00 a.m. PST, November 9, when winds lessened enough.
The blaze spread rapidly throughout the day, reaching the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu by the afternoon. Pepperdine University in Malibu recommended that students shelter in place in specific buildings on campus rather than use the crowded highway to evacuate. Farther north, the flames spread to portions of Thousand Oaks, Bell Canyon, Oak Park. and the West Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. On the day before the Hill and Woolsey fires started, residents in the Conejo Valley experienced the shooting of thirteen people in a bar including a police officer and the perpetrator. As the fires threatened the community and otherwise disrupted their routine, memorial services had to be postponed.
By the morning of November 10, 3,242 firefighters were deployed to attempt to contain the blaze. The fire had engulfed more than 70,000 acres (28,000 hectares) of land, forcing the evacuation of an estimated 295,000 people from 105,000 residences. This included an unprecedented total evacuation of Bell Canyon, Malibu, and Oak Park.
Before sunrise on November 14, the fire flared up in rugged wilderness at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains with winds blowing strongly. The fire burned well away from populated neighborhoods, but was threatening scattered home sites. The flare-up sent a huge column of smoke over Point Mugu and out to sea.
By November 21 at 6:11 p.m. PST, the fire was 100% contained.
Many of the public and private parks and trails within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area have been closed indefinitely due to damage sustained from the fire. This includes Malibu Creek State Park and Zuma Beach.
Two people were found dead in a vehicle on Mulholland Highway in Malibu. Emergency personnel were unable to reach the victims when a report of a critical burn victim was relayed, due to downed power lines. On Tuesday November 13, a third victim was discovered in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road in Agoura Hills.
At least 177 homes were destroyed by the fire. Many celebrities are among those who lost their homes, including Kim Basinger, Tracey E. Bregman, Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, Scott Derrickson, Fred Durst, Joe Flanigan, Mike Garson, Camille Grammer, Daryl Hannah and Neil Young, Gabe Kapler, Lil Pump, Robin Thicke, and Eric Wynalda. Multiple filming locations and historical sites were directly impacted by the fire, including Paramount Ranch, Peter Strauss Ranch, the former Reagan Ranch now part of Malibu Creek State Park, and the lower house of Villa De La Vina, the mansion where The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are filmed. The numerous drug rehabilitation centers and sober living houses in Malibu that have given rise to the nickname "Rehab Riviera" were evacuated ahead of the fire. At least two were destroyed or significantly damaged.
Reporters and officials rescued animals from homes, and brought them to shelters and vets. Other animals at locations such as Malibu Wines were either evacuated or cared for at the locations. Local fire officials opened Zuma Beach as an evacuation point for large animals, with pictures by the Los Angeles Times, showing llamas, alpacas, and horses tied to lifeguard stations and poles.
Response by President Donald Trump
On November 10, President Donald Trump blamed poor forest management by the state of California as the cause of recent wildfires in the state, including the Woolsey Fire and the concurrent Camp Fire in Northern California. In a controversial tweet, he threatened to end federal assistance unless the state improves its "gross mismanagement of the forests". The firemens' union disagreed with President Trump's claims, noting that California is experiencing unusually dry conditions and abnormally high fire danger. Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, described Trump's assertion about the state's forest management practices as "dangerously wrong", noting that 60 percent of California forests are directly managed by the federal government, which has reduced spending on forestry in recent years.
- 2018 California wildfires
- List of California wildfires
- List of fires
- Camp Fire, a concurrent destructive wildfire in northern California
- "Woolsey Fire General Information". CAL FIRE. California. November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Woolsey Fire Incident Update". Los Angeles County Fire Department. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
- Gonzales, Ruby; Cain, Josh (November 14, 2018). "Woolsey fire death toll increases to 3, body found in charred Agoura Hills home". San Gabriel Valley Newspapers. Retrieved November 14, 2018 – via The Mercury News.
- "Woolsey Fire Incident Update". Los Angeles County Fire Department. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Hersko,, Tyler (November 16, 2018). "Investigators point to human activity as cause of Hill Fire; containment at 100 percent". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- Forgione, Mary (November 9, 2018). "SoCal wildfires temporarily close Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu parks and beaches". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Woolsey Canyon". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- Chandler, Jenna (November 9, 2018). "Ventura County's Woolsey Fire moving south, Malibu under evacuation". Curbed. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Haskell, Josh (November 11, 2018). "Woolsey Fire: Forecast calls for high winds in burn area as containment increases to 10 percent". ABC7. ABC. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- LOPEZ, STEVE (November 14, 2018). "It wasn't just the rich who lost homes in the Malibu area. Is fire California's great equalizer?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "Woolsey Fire Burns Rocketdyne: Massive Woolsey Fire Began On Contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory Close to Site of Partial Meltdown. Electric Substation at SSFL Tripped 2 Minutes Before Fire Reported". Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
- Ortiz, Erik (November 14, 2018). "Activists concerned after wildfire ripped through nuclear research site". NBC News. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
- "Woolsey Fire Doubles To 70,000 Acres, Destroys 150+ Homes And Forces Evacuation Of 250,000". CBS Los Angeles. CBS. November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Chandler, Jenna (13 November 2018). "Residents returning home as LA wildfire scorches 96,314 acres". Curbed LA. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- "Hwy 101 closed in Ventura County after wildfire jumps highway". Associated Press. November 8, 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018 – via KSBY.
- "2 killed in Woolsey Fire as it surpasses 83,200 acres". KSBY 6. NBC. November 10, 2018. Archived from the original on November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Stallworth, Leo; Gregory, John; Garcia, Sid (November 14, 2018). "Woolsey Fire: Containment increases to 52 percent as fire burns 98,300 acres". KABC. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Bravo, Kristina; Fenoglio, John; Lynn, Tim; Von Quednow, Cindy (November 10, 2018). "Woolsey Fire 5 Percent Contained at 109 Square Miles; 2 Found Dead in Malibu Were 'Severely Burned'". KTLA 5. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Ganey, Steve (November 10, 2018). "2 Dead in Malibu as Woolsey Fire Continues Destructive Path; Cause of Death Not Released". KTLA 5. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Li, David K. (November 14, 2018). "Sierra Fire erupts near Los Angeles as death toll rises in Woolsey Fire: The latest death brings the statewide total to 51, which is mostly attributed to the 48 who have been confirmed killed in the Camp Fire 500 miles north in Butte County". NBC News. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
- "Ireland Baldwin Accused of Looting During Malibu Fire, Reveals Mom Kim Basinger 'Lost' Her Home". People. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
- Pasquini, Maria (11 November 2018). "Gerard Butler, Camille Grammer & More Lose Homes to California Fires as Death Toll Climbs to 23". People. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- "Gerard Butler Shares Photo of Burned Malibu Home in Woolsey Fire". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Rahman, Abid (12 November 2018). "Miley Cyrus' Home Burns Down in California Fires". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Evans, Greg; Haring, Bruce (November 10, 2018). "Martin Sheen Found Safe, But Other Celebrities Still On The Move From Fires". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Sharp, Tyler (November 11, 2018). "Fred Durst's House Burns Down in California Fires". Loudwire. Loudwire. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- "Joe Flanigan on Instagram: "House gone. But I am grateful for the many great years Malibu has given me and my children. Now, trying to help neighbors save their…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
- @mikegarson (10 November 2018). "The fire situation in the Los Angeles area is terrible" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Camille Grammer: 'My House Couldn't Be Saved' From Fires". Us Weekly. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Desai, Devika (12 November 2018). "Hollywood celebrities return to charred homes after California hellfire burns Malibu". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Jones, Kaelen (13 November 2018). "Phillies' Kapler on CA fires: 'Keep talking about it'". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Coleman II, C. Vernon (November 10, 2018). "Lil Pump Evacuates California Home As Wildfire Reaches His Backyard". XXL.
- "Woolsey Fire burns celebrities' homes, popular filming locations". ABC 10 News. ABC. November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Pamer, Melissa (November 9, 2018). "Western Town at Paramount Ranch, Filming Location Since 1927, Burns in Woolsey Fire: NPS". KTLA 5. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Deb, Sopan (November 10, 2018). "Set for 'Westworld' and Other Shows Destroyed in California Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Johnson, Scott (12 November 2018). "Historic Hollywood Sites Destroyed as Woolsey Fire Burns". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Carter, Ryan (November 10, 2018). "Western Town, Reagan Ranch, Santa Susana Field Lab: The Woolsey fire torched them, but spared other famous sites". The Orange County Register. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Drysdale, Jennifer (November 9, 2018). "'Bachelor' Mansion Partially Destroyed by California Wildfire". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Strause, Jackie (November 9, 2018). "'The Bachelor' Mansion Burning Amid California Wildfires". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Seth Abramovitch (November 11, 2018). "Multiple Rehab Facilities Destroyed in Malibu Fires". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Woolsey Fire: Reporter helps burned cat get emergency care". ABC7 Chicago. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Good news, California: Stanley the Giraffe is OK!". ABC7 Chicago. November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "The animals caught in wildfire destruction". BBC News. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Zauzmer, Emily. "Miley Cyrus & Neil Young lose homes in California fires as he slams 'unfit' Trump". People. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Deruy, Emily (November 10, 2018). "Trump blames poor forest management for California fires, threatens to revoke funding". The Mercury News. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "California Wildfires Kill At Least 9 as Trump Blames the State". Rolling Stone. November 10, 2018.
- Tweet by Jose Del Real, November 10, 2018
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Woolsey Fire.|
- Los Angeles Fire Department — Woolsey Fire
- Ventura Country Sheriff's Office — Emergency Incident Information, Hill Fire & Woolsey Fire
- Woolsey Fire Incident Information fire.ca.gov
- Woolsey Fire Incident Maps fire.ca.gov
- Woolsey Fire News Releases fire.ca.gov
- Recordings of fire department radio messages