Fire burns mobile homes, Malibu mansions
Two people were found dead and scores of houses from the celebrity mansions of Malibu to the mobile homes of seniors in the suburbs burned in a pair of wildfires that stretched across more than 100 square miles of Southern California, authorities said Saturday.
The two bodies were found in a sparsely populated stretch of Mulholland Highway in Malibu, but Los Angeles County sheriff’s Chief John Benedict offered no further details. It brings to 11 the number of people killed in the state’s wildfires in the past few days, with nine found dead in a Northern California wildfire.
Firefighters have saved thousands of homes despite working in “extreme, tough fire conditions that they said they have never seen in their life,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.
Those vicious conditions on Friday night gave way to calm Saturday, with winds reduce to breezes.
Firefighters used the lull to try to rein in the powerful blaze that had grown to 109 square miles and get a grasp of how much damage it did in its first two days.
Lady Gaga, Martin Sheen and Kim Kardashian West were among the celebrities who joined thousands of others in evacuating from the affluent coastal city that is as well-known as its residents. The stars went online to share their own distress and dismay for others as the fate of many properties remained unknown Saturday.
“I am thinking so deeply for everyone who is suffering today from these abominable fires & grieving the loss of their homes or loved ones,” Lady Gaga tweeted. “I’m sitting here with many of you wondering if my home will burst into flames. All we can do is pray together & for each other. God Bless You.”
There were shout-outs as well to the firefighters struggling to contain the fires in what were described as especially difficult conditions.
“These guys are heroes,” filmmaker Guillermo del Toro posted on Twitter.