Woolsey Fire Should Be Fully Contained By Thanksgiving

President Donald Trump (center) surveys the damage from the Woolsey fire in Malibu on November 17, 2018. (Photo by GENARO MOLINA/AFP/Getty Images)

As of Monday morning, the Woolsey Fire, which chewed through almost 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, is 94% contained. Authorities expect to fully extinguish it on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

Most evacuations have been lifted. This weekend, some residents of the Malibu Colony Cove neighborhood wre allowed to return to their homes — or the sites where their homes once stood. Although portions of Malibu have been repopulated, as of Sunday night there was still no access to neighborhoods south of Mulholland Highway.

You can check this map to determine which properties remain under evacuation.

SoCalGas says natural gas service has been turned off in several areas as a safety precaution. These areas include: the Peter Strauss Ranch community, the Oak Forest Mobile Home Park, the Seminole Mobile Home Park, and in the vicinity of Morning View Drive and Bonsall Drive in Malibu.

The utility says it's also addressing potential problems at several homes where natural gas service lines were damaged or destroyed but it currently has no reports of broken natural gas lines or natural gas leaks within the fire areas.

Woolsey Fire: Stats

  • 96,949 acres burned
  • 91% contained
  • 3 civilian fatalities
  • 3 injured rescue personnel
  • 1,452 structures destroyed
  • 337 structures damaged
President Donald Trump takes in the damage from the Woolsey Fire alongside California governor Jerry Brown, governor elect Gavin Newsom and several other officials in Malibu on November 17, 2018. (Photo by GENARO MOLINA/AFP/Getty Images)

This weekend, President Donald Trump toured the charred sites of both the Camp Fire, in Butte County, and the Woolsey Fire. He was joined by outgoing California governor Jerry Brown and governor elect Gavin Newsom.

After touring the devastated city of Paradise in Northern California, Trump arrived in Malibu on Saturday afternoon.

At both sites, Trump minimized the impact of climate change on the wildfires and stated his belief that poor management of forests contributed to the size of the blazes.

In Northern California, Trump said, "You've got to take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forests, it's very important. Trump said that Finland's president, Sauli Niinisto, who he had met a week earlier, had told him about raking the forest floors. "He called it a forest nation," Trump said, "and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem."

Niinisto later disputed that. According to the Associated Press, he said he had told Trump about Finland's efforts to care for its forests, "but said he can't recall anything being mentioned on raking."

Trump reiterated those comments later on Saturday, while touring parts of Malibu affected by the Woolsey Fire. The President said, "I'm a strong believer that... a lot of cities are in forests if you look at Europe and other places. We have a lot of forest states where they're mostly forests and they just don't have this problem."

Last week, Trump had threatened to withdraw federal aid for for fighting wildfires because, as he tweeted, "forest management is so poor."

Those comments provoked a backlash from firefighters' organizations. The International Association of Firefighters and California Professional Firefighters both condemned Trump's statement.

Politifact rated Trump's claims about California wildfires to be false.

Trump later tweeted a message of support for the crews battling the fires.

On Saturday, despite these politicial differences, Trump, while touring areas affected by the Camp and Woolsey fires, said he had "heard great things" about California's incoming governor and that he was optimistic he and Newsom could work together.

Later that night, Trump met with families and first responders affected by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, which left 12 people dead. Trump called it "a horrible, horrible event," according to the Associated Press.

He later told reporters, "What can you say other than it's so sad to see. These are great people. Great families, torn apart. We just hugged them and we kissed them — and everybody. And it was very warm... It was tragic and yet, in one way, it was a very beautiful moment."


Hey, thanks. You read the entire story. And we love you for that. Here at LAist, our goal is to cover the stories that matter to you, not advertisers. We don't have paywalls, but we do have payments (aka bills). So if you love independent, local journalism, join us. Let's make the world a better place, together. Donate now.