Malibu is Burning, Stars Evacuated

By Tony Reid 2007-10-21 19:32:48
If a pending writer’s strike in Hollywood isn’t keeping celebrities speechless, the intense brush fires in Malibu are certainly giving them something to talk about.

TMZ.com is reporting that the homes of Titanic director James Cameron and songstress Olivia Newton-John have already been evacuated. Many more stars are also finding their homes in danger along the exclusive Malibu Colony and Carbon Beach. Jennifer Aniston, Sting, Goldie Hawn, David Geffen and Tom Hanks are among the vulnerable owners of California’s most expensive real estate.

The fire allegedly began before dawn on Sunday when power lines were downed by strong Santa Ana winds and ignited dry brush. The state has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in years, leaving populated hillsides vulnerable to burshfires, especially when fanned by high wind gusts. Students at nearby Pepperdine University were also evacuated to a nearby basketball arena for safety. As of this afternoon, containment has been at zero percent.

Country music star Tanya Tucker’s home was already evacuated. The singer was in Las Vegas yesterday, but her 18-year old daughter who was home called the scene there, “ “ “very chaotic.” Firefighters have been “ dumping water on our house“ in order to save it, according to Tucker who phoned in to speak with reporters.

Los Angeles Fire Chief, P. Michael Freeman, spoke at a press conference on Sunday, noting some residences were a “total loss “ and many suffered “moderate to minor “ damage. Most fortunate in all this is there have been no injuries sustained by residents or firefighters.

Completely destroyed by the fire was Hodge Castle, a local landmark, owned by socialite Lilly Lawrence. The castle was just about to be sold and was in escrow. The asking price was estimated at $17 million and contained priceless Elvis Presley memorabilia.

Of relief to all concerned, pop mess Britney Spears, who lives in Malibu, was in no danger of being evacuated as her home was several miles from the fires. But, as always in her life, the winds may change.
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