Thousands Evacuated as Wildfire Threatens Celebrity Homes in Calabasas


Approximately 5,000 residents in the tony communities of Calabasas and Topanga Canyon were forced to evacuate their homes Saturday as firefighters battled a blaze that had damaged three buildings and consumed more than 500 acres by Sunday morning.

The so-called “Old Fire” had grown to 516 acres and was just 30 percent contained as of early Sunday morning, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. Calabasas residents began returning to their homes at around 2:00 a.m. Sunday, though mandatory evacuations were still in place in nearby Topanga Canyon.

According to the Los Angeles Times, three firefighters were injured on Saturday while battling the blaze, which is believed to have started after a vehicle struck a utility pole and downed power lines. Hundreds of homes remained threatened Sunday.

Some celebrity Calabasas residents took to social media on Saturday to comment on the fire, including Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who fretted over whether to evacuate their homes.

“Am I going to have to evacuate?” Kylie Jenner captioned a post on Snapchat, according to People.

Meanwhile, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres praised her brother-in-law, who was apparently on scene to assist in the firefighting efforts.

Approximately 300 firefighters were still battling the blaze early Sunday as water-dropping helicopters assisted from the sky, according to local ABC affiliate KABC. Two homes sustained minor damage and one commercial building was reportedly destroyed.

“If anyone is familiar with the area, we’re talking about very steep terrain, very limited access, very windy roads, L.A. County Fire Department spokesman Edward Osorio told KABC. “This is very difficult for our apparatuses… they are very large pieces of machinery, they need a lot of room to operate.”

The community of Calabasas is home to numerous celebrities including Drake, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Britney Spears and members of the Kardashian family.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum