Three more homes destroyed in Malibu fire | NevadaAppeal.com

Three more homes destroyed in Malibu fire

THOMAS WATKINS
Associated Press Writer

MALIBU, Calif. – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the number of homes destroyed by the Malibu wildfire has now been counted at 53 – that’s three more than estimates from earlier Sunday.

The governor spoke at a Malibu news conference Sunday afternoon after touring fire-damaged neighborhoods in the coastal enclave.

Despite the newfound losses firefighters made huge gains today in the fire that scorched 4,720 acres. The wildfire is now 70 percent surrounded according to Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Ron Haralson.

“Winds have subsided considerably and we’re making good headway,” he said.

Haralson says all closed roads will be reopened by 8 p.m. tonight, including the Pacific Coast Highway in both directions.

Thirty-four more homes were damaged by the flames that broke out early yesterday but are still standing.

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Investigators had determined that the fire, which broke out along a dirt road off a paved highway, was caused by humans, but had not determined if it was started intentionally, said county fire Inspector Rick Dominguez.

Sherifs deputies with dogs surveyed the roadside area on Sunday that neighbors said is a popular spot for late night outdoor partying by young people.