Wild­fire torches famed movie site, sends celebri­ties flee­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER - By Jonathan Landrum Jr.

LOS AN­GE­LES >> A fast-mov­ing wild­fire in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia has scorched a his­toric movie site re­cently used by the HBO se­ries “West­world” and forced nu­mer­ous celebri­ties to join the thou­sands flee­ing flames that have claimed homes and prompted the to­tal evac­u­a­tion of the celebrity en­clave Mal­ibu.

Lady Gaga, Kim Kar­dashian West, Scott Baio, Rainn Wil­son and Guillermo del Toro are among nu­mer­ous celebri­ties forced to evac­u­ate their homes, in some cases hur­riedly try­ing to ar­range trans­port for their horses. Some, like del Toro and Cait­lyn Jen­ner, did not know the fate of their homes, but the wind-driven wild­fire has de­stroyed the home of “Dr. Strange” direc­tor Scott Der­rick­son and the his­toric Paramount Ranch where shows like HBO’s “West­world” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” were filmed.

The blaze started Thurs­day night and by Fri­day had pushed to­ward Mal­ibu and the Pa­cific Ocean, prompt­ing evac­u­a­tions in Mal­ibu, Cal­abasas, Agoura Hills and other nearby ar­eas.

Alyssa Mi­lano said her home was “in jeop­ardy” amid her at­tempts to safely evac­u­ate her five horses. The ac­tress ul­ti­mately got the help she needed and tweeted that her horses were safe. “My chil­dren are safe. ... Ev­ery­thing with a heart­beat is safe.”

The celebrity web­site TMZ re­ported that Jen­ner’s home was burned, but the Olympic gold medal­ist said in an In­sta­gram video that she didn’t know “whether the house made it or not.” She con­firmed she was safe.

Kar­dashian West posted video on In­sta­gram of an area on fire with a mes­sage “Pray for Cal­abasas.” She said she landed back home, spent one hour pack­ing and evac­u­ated shortly af­ter­ward.

Gaga also took to so­cial me­dia let­ting her fol­low­ers know she evac­u­ated Fri­day morn­ing as she shared a few videos fo­cused on the smoke-filled skies. The singer said she is “send­ing my prayers” to ev­ery­one im­pacted by the fire.

Der­rick­son said he is safe de­spite los­ing his home.

Cher is con­cerned about her house in Mal­ibu, an area where the ac­tress-singer has lived for more than 45 years.

“I’m wor­ried about my house, but there is noth­ing I can do,” she tweeted. “Friends houses have burned. I can’t bear the thought of there be­ing no Mal­ibu I’ve had a house in Mal­ibu since 1972.”

In ad­di­tion to dozens of homes de­stroyed, Paramount Ranch’s “West­ern Town,” a land­mark film lo­ca­tion that in­cluded a jail, ho­tel and sa­loon, had burned to the ground.

The ranch served as a lo­ca­tion for pro­duc­tions rang­ing from 1938’s “The Ad­ven­tures of Marco Polo” to TV shows “The Men­tal­ist” and “Weeds.” The set in the moun­tains west of Los An­ge­les dates to 1927 when Paramount Pic­tures leased the ranch and be­gan mak­ing films there.

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.”

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, serv­ing as a lo­ca­tion for the first two sea­sons of the sci-fi se­ries “West­world.” HBO said it did not know the ex­tent of the dam­age and ex­pressed con­cern for “all those af­fected by these hor­ri­ble fires.”


Paramount Ranch, where a num­ber of Hol­ly­wood west­erns have been filmed, is seen af­ter it was dec­i­mated by a wild­fire Fri­day in Augura Hills, Calif.

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