“We lost everything,” said Rachel Bailey after she stepped out of her Volvo SUV and saw what was left of her family’s four-bedroom home.
Bailey and her partner, David Carr, were vacationing in Mexico when the Woolsey fire broke out. They flew back Monday to see what was left of their street in the Oak Forest Mobile Estates in Westlake Village.
Home after home in Bailey’s pocket in the canyon was leveled.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the Woolsey fire is among the largest blazes on record in the county dating back 100 years. The fire has torn through almost 150 square miles of the county land, from Bell Canyon to the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.
The devastation in Malibu Creek State Park is extensive.
Much of the landscape is charred black, although the campground and parking lots remain intact. The fire swept through the area at tremendous speed, turning much in its path into ash.
The Woolsey fire burned about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space area for Southern California.
The Santa Monica Mountains, which stretch from Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu in Ventura County, have long offered Southern Californians a respite from the city below with the range’s array of hiking trails, waterfalls and rock pools. And its sprawling ranch land has given Hollywood real-world ties to the frontier life it exhaustively depicted on screen.
The Woolsey fire destroyed more than 400 structures but also took a deep toll on landmark areas of the mountain areas.
Firefighters battling the Woolsey fire responded Tuesday morning to a flare-up in Carlisle Canyon, the Boney Mountain area and Lake Sherwood, an unincorporated community in the Santa Monica mountains.
Officials are asking residents to be prepared to evacuate as winds pick up. A red flag warning was extended through Wednesday evening. Road closures are expected in the Yerba Buena area.
Brian McGrath, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said multiple fire engines, air tankers and helicopters are responding to the fire, which has sent thick plumes of white smoke into the area. McGrath encouraged residents to stay away.
President Trump approved a disaster declaration for California, making federal funding available for the recovery efforts of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties after the disastrous Camp and Woolsey fires scorched hundreds of homes.
The Camp fire destroyed the town of Paradise in Butte County, burning through 125,000 acres and more than 6,500 homes, according to Cal Fire. In Southern California, the Woolsey fire has grown to 96, 314 acres and destroyed 435 structures.
Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a statement Tuesday that federal funding can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
“Federal funding is also available to the state, tribal, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties,” FEMA said.
Business and home owners can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621- 3362 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
I just approved an expedited request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of California. Wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on. I am with you all the way. God Bless all of the victims and families affected.