MALIBU (CBSLA) — Weaker winds are helping firefighters continue to make progress against the deadly Woolsey Fire, which has been burning for a week across Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
The fire is now at 62 percent containment and has burned 98,362 acres, according to a Thursday morning update from CalFire. The number of structures destroyed or damaged went up to 504 and 96, respectively, but CalFire says the damage assessment for the burn areas is just 25 percent complete, so those numbers are expected to go up.
Mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted for several areas, but remain in effect for portions of Malibu, and all of Topanga, Monte Nido and Malibu Lake. Repopulation of Lake Sherwood and Hidden Valley are set to start Thursday morning, but the Carlisle Canyon Road area remains under mandatory evacuation.
Authorities say residents should exercise caution when returning home due to sporadic utility outages in the area.
CalFire says onshore winds are expected to develop Thursday afternoon across the burn area, which lead to cooler temperatures and minimum relative humidity, and help firefighters further contain the blaze.
Authorities say three firefighters have been injured, but it’s not clear if that includes a Washington State firefighter who was struck by a car along Pacific Coast Highway overnight.
Three people have died in the blaze. A charred body was found in a burned-out Agoura Hills home Wednesday, while two people were found Friday in a burned-out vehicle on Mulholland Highway.
An estimated 57,000 structures are still considered threatened by the Woolsey Fire, which has experienced sudden flare-ups after being whipped up by gusty winds. A Red Flag warning, however, expired Wednesday afternoon, and authorities say they expect to have full containment by Sunday.
Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, whose agency oversees the federal portions of the Santa Monica National Recreation Area, are scheduled to tour the burn area Thursday.