As fire death toll mounts, some residents return to homes in San Fernando Valley

The Woolsey fire, now 35 percent contained, has torched at least 435 structures

Nov.November 13, 2018 12:00 PM
A number of homes on Hitching Post Lane in Bell Canyon, including this one, were destroyed by the Woolsey Fire. (Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

After torching more than 93,600 acres over five straight days, the Woolsey fire is showing some signs of slowing down.

Officials lifted mandatory evacuation orders in Hidden Hills, parts of Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and West Hills in the San Fernando Valley, Curbed reported.

Malibu and Topanga, however, remain under evacuation. Santa Ana winds gusting up to 45 miles per hour Tuesday continue to put those areas under danger, officials said. The winds are expected to wane by 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Two deaths have been reported in two Southern California blazes. In Northern California, the death toll has mounted in a fire in the Sierra foothills, with at least 42 people confirmed dead, and many more missing.

As of Tuesday morning, the Woolsey fire had burned 96,314 acres, including at least 435 buildings and homes. More than 57,000 structures are threatened.

Spot fires burn on the hills above Pepperdine University during the Woolsey fire. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Woolsey fire claimed the Morrison Ranch House in Agoura, an 1880s-built historic property used to shoot “Of Mice and Men” and “The Durango Kid.” It also destroyed the Western Town and Paramount Ranch, in Agoura Hills, a replica Old West town that has been used for film shoots since the 1930s.

Celebrities with homes in Malibu and other affected areas were also hit hard by the flames. Actor Gerard Butler took to social media to document the remains of his half-burnt home. Miley Cyrus and Neil Young also lost their homes, while other Hollywood stars like Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian West were forced to evacuate.

A much smaller Hill fire is also burning around L.A., just north of the Woolsey fire, ravaging more than 4,000 acres near Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands.

In Northern California, the raging Camp Fire has become the state’s deadliest and most destructive fire in history. At 30 percent containment, the blaze has burned about 125,000 acres.

President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for California Monday, following a state of emergency declaration on Nov. 8. The approval came days after he sent out a controversial tweet threatening to pull federal funding for the fire-ravaged state. [Curbed] – Natalie Hoberman

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