MALIBU (CBSLA) — Strong Santa Ana winds returned Sunday just as firefighters in Southern California were able to increase a containment line around the massive Woolsey Fire, which has scorched more than 130 square miles.
Fire Captain Tony Imbrenda, a public information officer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said during a news briefing that firefighters have increased the containment line to 15 percent.
“The night before, firefighters were able to make a little bit of progress out there on the fire line and reinforced some of our containment lines,” Imbrenda said. “As you can see, we have another Santa Ana wind condition that has moved into the area overnight.”
According to authorities, the count of homes destroyed as of Sunday stood at 177, but was expected to increase. As of Sunday afternoon, authorities reported no additional structures had been lost.
According to the Associated Press, the death toll stood at two, after two severely burned bodies were discovered along a stretch of Mulholland Highway in Malibu after the fire ignited Thursday. The deaths remain under investigation. Three firefighters were also reported injured.
In addition, three firefighters have been injured as of Sunday morning, according to Cal Fire. It was not immediately clear the nature of their injuries, nor how serious they were.
Among those affected was City Councilman Jefferson “Zuma” Wagner, who was in the intensive-care unit of a hospital for injuries suffered while attempting to save his home in the Woolsey Fire.
The brush fire spanning two counties doubled Sunday to 85,000 acres, continuing to make a destructive march toward the Pacific Ocean, destroying at least 177 homes and forcing the evacuation of more than 265,000 people. At last word, 149,000 people remained under evacuation orders, officials said Sunday afternoon.
The cities of Hidden Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, and parts of Westlake Village and Agoura Hills (north of the 101 Freeway) remain under mandatory evacuation orders, authorities said.
Firefighters urged the public to stay out of these areas that they’ve determined to be evacuation zones, as the fire was being driven by winds.
As of Sunday morning, authorities were particularly concerned with residents in the Topanga area, and urge them to evacuate as well.
“We have reports of residents in the area that have chosen to shelter in place, and we are advising them to immediately leave and go to move to one of the shelters, or other area,” said Chief John Benedict of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Benedict said authorities were also working with animal control to remove the animals from the area.
“I personally have been affected by this. I have been evacuated twice so I totally understand the heartache and the stress that’s involved in the evacuation process,” said Benedict. “Please, please be patient with us. We are just concerned with the safety of yourselves, the safety of the first responders who are out there trying to get you safely back to your homes.”
MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDERS IN EFFECT FOR LA COUNTY (As Of Nov. 11)
• Malibu – Entire city plus areas south of 101 Freeway from Ventura County border to Las Virgines/Malibu Canyon, southward to the ocean
• Hidden Hills – Entire community – residents urged to take Valley Circle Boulevard towards Chatsworth
• Calabasas – Entire city
• Agoura Hills – South of 101 Freeway
• Monte Nido/ Topanga – Entire community
• Liberty Canyon west to Decker Canyon and south all the way to Pacific Coast Highway
• Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon east to Decker Canyon and west to Malibu/PCH
• Bell Canyon – Entire community
• South of Bard Lake, east of Highway 23
• South of Highway 101, east of Reino Road, north of Potrero Road, East to the Los Angeles/Ventura County Line
• Westlake Village – South of 101 Freeway
• West Hills – west of Valley Circle Boulevard with border to the north at Roscoe Boulevard and to the south at Vanowen Street.
• Thousand Oaks – Thousand Oaks Boulevard north to Sunset Hills, from Oak Park west to Highway 23
• West of Highway 23, south of Olsen Road, north to Pederson Road
Authorities said there are over 200 deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that have been deployed to secure properties and prevent looting.
Elsewhere, in Ventura County, authorities indicated that some evacuation orders had been lifted, specifically for Camarillo Springs, parts of Newbury Park, and Dos Vientos, and were working on repopulating portions of Thousand Oaks that were impacted.
Authorities in Ventura County indicated that they had dispatched 75 deputies to the area to prevent looting.
MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDERS IN EFFECT (As Of Nov. 11)
• Point Mugu Naval Base (Hill Fire)
• South Coast – All areas outlined on map above (Hill Fire)
• Bell Canyon – Entire Community (Woolsey Fire)
• Thousand Oaks – All areas outlined on map above (Woolsey Fire)
• East of Las Posas Rd and South of Potrero Rd to Hwy 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and County Line
• Lake Sherwood and Hidden Valley – All areas
“Governor Brown said it during the Thomas Fire that we are entering a new normal. Things are not the way they were 10 years ago,” said Chief Mark Lorenzen of Ventura County. “For this fire, the rate of spread is exponentially more than it used to be. Please heed evacuation orders. Do not stay in your homes to try to defend them.”
Additionally, authorities cautioned residents that red flag warnings remained in effect.
Those looking for information on family or friends can call the Ventura County Joint Information Hotline at 805-465-6650.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)