Malibu-based celebrities flee Calif. wildfire, 'Westworld' set destroyed
A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind homes during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. A fast-moving wildfire in Southern California has scorched a historic movie site recently used by the HBO series "Westworld" and forced numerous celebrities to join the thousands fleeing flames that have claimed homes and prompted the total evacuation of the celebrity enclave Malibu. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
Published Friday, November 9, 2018 8:04PM EST
LOS ANGELES -- A fast-moving wildfire in Southern California has scorched a historic movie site recently used by the HBO series “Westworld” and forced numerous celebrities to join the thousands fleeing flames that have claimed homes and prompted the total evacuation of the celebrity enclave Malibu.
Kim Kardashian West, Scott Baio, Rainn Wilson and Guillermo del Toro are among numerous celebrities forced to evacuate their homes, in some cases hurriedly trying to arrange transport for their horses. Some, like del Toro and Caitlyn Jenner, did not know the fate of their homes, but the wind-driven wildfire has destroyed the home of “Dr. Strange” director Scott Derrickson and the historic Paramount Ranch where shows like HBO's “Westworld” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” were filmed.
The blaze started Thursday night and by Friday had pushed toward Malibu and the Pacific Ocean, prompting evacuations in Malibu, Calabasas, Aguora Hills and other nearby areas.
Alyssa Milano said her home is “in jeopardy” in hopes evacuating her 5 horses. The actress ultimately got the help she needed and tweeted that her “Horses are finally safe. My children are safe. My home is in jeopardy but... everything with a heartbeat is safe. Thank you all for your concern.”
The celebrity website TMZ reported that Jenner's home was burned, but her publicist said that was not yet confirmed. The Olympic gold medallist safely evacuated.
Kardashian West posted video on Instagram of an area on fire with a message “Pray for Calabasas.” She said she landed back home, spent one hour packing and evacuated shortly afterward.
Derrickson said he is safe despite losing his home.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said the Paramount Ranch known as the “Western Town” served as a location for productions ranging from 1938's “The Adventures of Marco Polo” to TV shows “The Mentalist” and “Weeds.” The location known as “Western Town” is set in the mountains west of Los Angeles dates to 1927 when Paramount Pictures leased the ranch and began making films there.
Western Town specifically was built for TV productions in the 1950s and was used for such westerns as “The Cisco Kid” and “Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre.”
Filming continued for decades even as the ranch changed hands. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980 but has continued to function as a filming location, serving as a location for the first two seasons of the sci-fi series “Westworld.” HBO said it did not know extent of the damage and expressed concern for “all those affected by these horrible fires.”
When not in use for filming, visitors could stroll through Western Town while hiking or ride through on horseback.
Actor James Wood asked nearly 2 million of his Twitter followers to use the hashtag #CampFireJamesWoods to help share names of those who are missing. He tweeted resources for horse owners to have their animals evacuated, and called Milano's report that her family and horses had been evacuated “good news.” Woods was not among those displaced - he tweeted that he was on the East Coast.
Associated Press Writer John Antczak contributed to the report in Los Angeles.