By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Kim Kardashian, Alyssa Milano and Melissa Etheridge were among thousands fleeing from their homes in and around Malibu on Friday, as a fast-moving wildfire forced evacuations from the celebrity-packed area.
Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that he had abandoned his vast “Bleak House” museum collection of fantasy and horror memorabilia, while singer Etheridge said she had moved into a hotel due to the fire.
The entire 12,000 population of Malibu, which stretches 27 miles (43.5 km) along the Pacific Ocean in Southern (NYSE:) California and up into the Santa Monica mountains, was placed under mandatory evacuation on Friday as the Woolsey fire exploded overnight and jumped a freeway, fire officials said.
Malibu and nearby Calabasas are home to hundreds of celebrities and entertainment executives attracted by its ocean views, rolling hills and large, isolated estates. Current and former residents include Barbra Streisand, Cher, Tom Hanks, Judd Apatow and Britney Spears.
Residents posted pleas on social media for help evacuating horses and other large animals from ranches, while long lines of traffic clogged the only coastal highway in and out of Malibu.
“Evacuated last night. Bleak House and the collection may be endangered but the gift of life remains,” del Toro, director of Oscar best picture winner “The Shape of Water,” tweeted on Friday.
Kardashian, and her sister Kourtney, said they had left their homes in nearby Calabasas late on Thursday. “I had just one hour to pack up and evacuate our home,” Kim Kardashian wrote in an Instagram Story.
Milano, a leading force in the #MeToo social movement against sexual harassment, asked for help getting five horses out of the area. “I just had to evacuate my home from the fires. I took my kids, dogs, computer and my Doc Marten boots,” the actress tweeted.
Rainn Wilson, former star of “The Office,” said on Twitter he had been evacuated, and Roma Downey, the wife of “The Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett posted that she was “Pulling out of my driveway with my two big dogs in the back. Malibu fire evacuation.”
The Malibu area is also home to dozens of filming locations. One of them, the Western Town at Paramount Ranch where “Westworld” is filmed, was burned.
“We do not have any details or photos, but it is our understanding that the structures have burned. This area is an active part of the incident and we cannot access it,” a posting on the Santa Monica Mountains Twitter account said on Friday.
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