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Brush fire in Malibu near PCH is 95% contained

Firefighters were battling a 40-acre brush fire in Malibu on Friday, assisted by retardant and water-dropping aircraft as they worked quickly to set perimeters around homes in the surrounding area.

The Sweetwater fire burned about 40 acres, officials said. By 3:30 p.m. it was 95% contained, officials said.

L.A. County spokesperson Marvin Lim said there was no more risk of fire.

Nearly 200 firefighters and three helicopters were dispatched to the scene off Sweetwater Canyon Road near Pacific Coast Highway about 11:30 a.m., said Marvin Lim, a spokesman for the L.A. County Fire Department. The Los Angeles Fire Department deployed a fourth helicopter.

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Sweetwater Road was shut down as firefighters were battling the fire on all fronts, Lim said.

No structures were threatened and no evacuations were ordered, he said. Winds were light, blowing at about 10 mph and humidity levels were in the double digits, helping firefighters in containing the fast-growing brush fire, said Capt. Tony Imbrenda, a spokesman for the county Fire Department.

Reports of a second fire nearby are unconfirmed. Lim said firefighters believe smoke from the Sweetwater fire may be giving the appearance of a second fire near 2100 Stunt Road.

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The fire put the Malibu community on edge. It is still recovering from the 97,000-acre Woosley fire last fall. That blaze destroyed more than 1,500 structures and killed three people.

On Friday afternoon, Malibu Mayor Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner was at his surf shop watching fire trucks roll into the area.

The Sweetwater fire, he said, was about 500 yards from his surf shop at 22775 Pacific Coast Highway but was moving away from structures, instead chewing through light and medium brush and some chaparral.

Wagner said he wasn’t too concerned about this fire because it is currently terrain driven.

“It’s not wind driven, and there are a lot of air resources on the spot right now,” Wagner said. “I’m starting to see the boots on the ground show up in huge numbers. We have camp crews showing up. I saw four or five trucks, and I’m seeing engines from all the outlying areas.”

The Los Angeles Fire Department meanwhile battled another blaze in the Hollywood Hills. At about 1:30 p.m., that fire was burning 1/4 of an acre of grass uphill. The fire grew to less than half an acre and was contained 30 minutes later.


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