Brush fire breaks out in Malibu ahead of scorching-hot weekend

A helicopter makes a night drop on a fire in Malibu.
A helicopter drops water on a brush fire in a remote area of Malibu off Tuna Canyon Road early Friday morning.
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As Southern California braced for a weekend of extreme temperatures and increased fire danger, a small brush fire broke out overnight Friday in Malibu, lighting up a rugged hillside with glowing flames.

At least 150 firefighters battled the blaze, which began just before 1 a.m. in a remote area off Tuna Canyon Road, about a mile from Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles County Fire Department Supervisor Jeremy Stafford said.

Dubbed the Tuna fire, it grew to about six acres before crews gained control over the flames and began mopping up hot spots. By 10 a.m., containment was estimated at over 50% and forward progress had been stopped, the Fire Department said.


Fire crews battling the blaze from the air and the ground were up against difficult overnight conditions as they fought to contain the fire.

“The Tuna fire is burning in a remote area and has presented access challenges,” the Fire Department said on Twitter around 5 a.m., noting that firefighters had to hike in at least 2,000 feet of hose to reach the burn zone.

“This has been done via a narrow trail and in steep, rugged terrain,” they said, and the significant angle of the slope also added to significant rock fall danger.

Video captured by OnScene.TV showed the fire glowing against the night sky as helicopters worked to contain the flames from above.

Stafford said no homes or structures were threatened by the fire, and no evacuation orders were issued. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.