Malibu Fire News Update – Here’s the latest map and pictures of the Malibu fire, actually four separate fires, with the the Western branch having died out while the Eastern branch rages on toward Carbon Mesa.

Latest Malibu fire map

The fires in Malibu began before dawn, when a broken power line sparked two fires that were quickly fueled by Santa Ana winds. They roared downhill, feeding on bone-dry vegetation with flames reaching 50 feet high at times.

Malibu fires 50-foot flames
Malibu Presbyterian Church caught fire early and burned to the ground. Several houses on the south side of Malibu Canyon Road, overlooking the Malibu Civic Center, also burned.

Malibu Presbyterian Church burns

The blaze destroyed area landmark Castle Kashan, also known as Hodges Castle, which was due to be sold Wednesday for $17 million.

Castle Kashan burning

From the ignition point, the fire burned in two directions, with one branch burning to the southwest, toward Pepperdine and the Hughes Research Laboratory, where two outbuildings burned (picture below).

Malibu fire at Hughes labs

The western flank of flames advanced to the Pacific Coast Highway where fierce flames and high winds burned cars and ignited fires in beachfront homes before running out of vegetation to fuel the flames further. 

The Malibu fire torched this car on the Pacific Coast Highway:Car burns on Pacific Coast Highway

This house in exclusive Malibu Colony caught fire:Malibu Colony house on fire

Malibu Fire News

The eastern flank of flames is still burning south of Saddle Peak, marching in the direction of several dozen isolated mountain homes above Las Flores creek, an area that was scorched during the massive fire that swept through Malibu in 1993. That blaze burned more than 17,000 acres, killing three people and destroying about 300 homes.

Planes are dropping water and fire retardant to slow the fire’s advance:
Malibu fires water drop

Flames from the Malibu fire towered 50 feet into the air as they headed to the east, sending a massive plume of smoke over the coastal area.

Smoke cloud rises from Malibu fires

Late in the afternoon, flames are still advancing east toward Carbon Mesa Road, with a fireline about two miles wide moving across the ridge. The isolated homes, however, all have good brush clearance, aiding in the protection effort.

Malibu canyon home burns

In the Carbon Mesa area, where about 40 houses overlook the ocean, fire trucks are parked in virtually every driveway, while helicopters dropped water and fire retardant on the ridge in the rugged area.

Malibu canyon fire map

One of the properties burning in the Carbon Mesa area is a ranch owned by actor Sean Penn, whose property at the top of the ridge also burned during the 2003 fire.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department should have some maps up soon…

And that’s the latest news, pictures, and fire map update on the Malibu fire.