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Red Flag Alert & Fire, Fire, Fire!!!!*

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Good thing the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) put out a Red Flat Alert (move your car if you live in the hills or you could be towed) last night for today -- a major brush fire began this morning around 5:50 a.m. near Tampa Ave and Sesnon Bl (yo, Valley, people, this is Porter Ranch) in Los Angeles County territory according to alerts from the LAFD. In the name of mutual aid, the LAFD sent over 19 companies and 3 helicopters. By 6:35 a.m., there were 100 LAFD personnel at scene as the fire wisped closer to city limits. This fire appears not to be as big of a deal at the moment.

More fire have been reported as well. The worst is at Malibu Crest near Pepperdine has burned 500 acres and Malibu Presbyterian Church is pretty much a goner (an animal hospital is now threatened or already gone). All students at Pepperdine are gathered together in the cafeteria as firefighters are posted around the school. Other evacuees in Malibu are reporting to a meeting point in Zuma Beach. Power is out in much of Malibu, and Pacific Coast Highway is closed between Kanan-Dume Road and Topanga Canyon Road (some reports say Malibu Cyn).

Another fire in Castaic has claimed the life of a wood shed and has burned 500 acres as it heads away from residential areas, but could hit the small Ventura County town of Piru.

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This combination of temperature and wind that makes perfect for fire to thrive on is expected to last through at least the first half of the week according to ABC7 live news coverage.

Did you know that today is the first day of National Fire Preparedness Day?

*Malibu Update, 11:01 a.m.: Hughes Labs on fire; Malibu Presbyterian completely burned; Malibu castle engulfed; Pacific Coast Animal Hospital threatened and all animals successfully evacuated. Historic Adamson House threatened and tanker units sent to protect it.

*Update, 11:16 a.m.: LAFD Spokesman Brian Humphrey told LAist in an e-mail that "Jim Featherstone [of the Emergency Preparedness Department] spent the morning here, and just left a couple of minutes ago. He has activated the City's EOC [Emergency Operations Center] at minimal levels to support coordination. All in all, we're doing good."

Photo by emerikaphoto via Flickr