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Southern California fires force evacuation of Malibu

About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as Southern California's ferocious wildfire roared toward the tony coastal enclave.

A wildfire comes down from a hilltop on

A wildfire comes down from a hilltop on Thursday near Newbury Park, Calif.  Photo Credit: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

MALIBU, Calif. — About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as Southern California's ferocious wildfire roared toward the beachside community that is home to many Hollywood celebrities.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire raging through the Santa Monica Mountains was headed to the ocean. Malibu has about 13,000 residents and lies along 21 miles of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range.

"Imminent threat!" the department said in its warning.

The fire erupted Thursday near the northwest corner of the city of Los Angeles as the region's notorious Santa Ana winds gusted, triggering overnight evacuations of an estimated 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

The fire then pushed southward, jumped the wide U.S. 101 freeway before dawn Friday and pushed into the Santa Monica range.

Another fire was burning farther west in Ventura County, also moving toward the ocean.

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