Malibu burns as Lady Gaga, Kardashians lead exodus
Malibu resident Georgienne Bradley, a deep-sea diver and conservationist who’s known for swimming with sharks, packed her belongings and prepared to evacuate her beachfront home Friday when confronted with the deadlier threat of an uncontained wildfire.
“They say the winds are going to die down, but that’s all guesswork,” Bradley said as she packed paintings and her dog and two cats into her car. “I can’t really move on the Pacific Coast Highway, but I’m not going to just stand around and watch and then wish I had done things differently.”
President Trump had his own ideas on why the damage was so widespread.
In Southern California, two fires have consumed more than 40,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Malibu, the coastal enclave of the rich and famous, was evacuated after flames swept southwest across the Santa Monica Mountains toward the ocean. The Malibu blaze, dubbed the Woolsey Fire by officials, has burned 35,000 acres in the hills northwest of Los Angeles since it began Thursday afternoon and was still nowhere near being contained. Almost 150,000 homes have been ordered evacuated, including the residences of some of the wealthiest enclaves in the country.
The conflagration has destroyed dozens of properties, including Caitlyn Jenner’s in Malibu, according to ABC7 News. Lady Gaga posted video of her evacuation from her $22.5 million ocean-view mansion. The Kardashian family, including Kim and Kourtney, posted photos of packed-up cars and updates on their movements. Scott Derrickson, director of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” movie, said on Twitter that he lost his home to the wildfire.
The National Park Service said that Western Town, a faux village at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu used for movies and TV shows from “The Cisco Kid” to “Westworld,” had burned.
As celebrities and other residents fled, gasoline proved to be the thing they needed most. Mark Gondola, a manager at an ARCO gas station on the Pacific Coast Highway, pulled an all-nighter to help some of the evacuees fleeing the blaze. As traffic backed up along the few evacuation routes from the hilly, coastal community, many ran out of gas and came to buy more for their stalled cars.
A firefighter sprays down palm trees as the Woolsey Fire burns in Malibu, US