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2-Alarm Brush Fire Erupts In Malibu, Burns 40 Acres

MALIBU (CBSLA) — A two-alarm brush fire erupted in Malibu Friday morning.

The Sweetwater Fire, which was first reported at about 11:30 a.m. in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Sweetwater Canyon Road, quickly scorched five acres, but appeared to be creeping uphill, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Just before 1 p.m., the L.A. County Fire Department announced on Twitter that the fire had spread to ten acres and that it was holding at the ridgeline.

It was later reported that the fire had burned up to 40 acres and was 20% contained and that forward progress had stopped.

Just before 2 p.m., L.A. County Fire reported the fire to be 60% contained.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or evacuations. No homes were threatened. As of noon, the weather was cooperating with firefighters.

"The conditions are actually quite favorable...with the winds right now they don't seem to be making too much of an impact on this fire so everything seems to be under control," L.A. County Fire Inspector Sky Cornell told CBS2.

Brush Fire Erupts In Malibu
A brush fire burns in Malibu, Calif., on Aug. 30, 2019. (credit: CBS)

Cornell estimated that crews would be able to keep the fire under 25 acres.

There were four water-dropping helicopters assisting ground crews in the firefight, Cornell said. Fixed-wing tankers were also brought in to dump fire retardant on the flames. At least 200 firefighters were on the scene, not including the air operations.

Forecasters had warned of elevated fire danger throughout the weekend due to hot and dry conditions exacerbated by gusty afternoon winds. Sunday is expected to be the warmest day.

Malibu was most recently hit by the Woolsey Fire in November of last year, the largest fire to ever hit the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

The 97,000-acre fire broke out south of Simi Valley, then jumped the south side of the 101 Freeway near Calabasas and spread into Malibu.

The fire destroyed more than 1,500 structures and was responsible for three deaths.

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