Malibu’s past is laced with blazes

The devastation is all too familiar Malibu has a long history of brush fires:January 2007: A brush fire whipped by high winds destroys or damages 11 seaside homes along Malibu Road.January 2003: A wind-driven blaze, possibly sparked by downed power lines, damages three homes and forces the evacuation of scores of residences in Encinal and Decker canyons.October 1996: A brush fire ignited by an arcing power line destroys 10 homes in Malibu, Calabasas Canyon and Corral Canyon, and burns close to 14,000 acres. Malibu’s estimated cost of fighting the fire is $1 million. November 1993: Three people die when an arson-suspected blaze roars through Calabasas, Malibu, Topanga Canyon, Rambla Pacifico and Tuna Canyon, destroying 388 structures, including 268 homes. Damage is estimated at more than $219 million. Disaster relief costs for Malibu total $7.8 million. October 1985: Two arson-caused brush fires in Malibu, one on Piuma Road and another in Decker Canyon, destroy six homes, causing more than $1 million in damage. October 1982: A wind-swept fire travels from Dayton Canyon, northeast of Canoga Park, to the Malibu coast, destroying 97 homes and burning 54,000 acres. Estimated damage is $8.5 million.October 1978: Eight almost-simultaneous fires destroy 230 homes in a series of blazes stretching from Malibu to Agoura and Mandeville Canyon. One man is killed, and damage is estimated at $71.4 million as 26,000 acres are burned.September 1970: Ten people die and 403 homes are ravaged as several blazes combine into a single wall of flames 20 miles long, stretching from Newhall to Malibu. The conflagration chars 435,000 acres and causes an estimated $175 million in property damage. Source: Times archives

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