Updated: Overnight Brush Fire Burns Ten Acres, 95% Contained

Los Angeles County Fire

Update: Feb. 26, 11:45 a.m.: A female fire crew member who was injured while containing a fire in Western Malibu Thursday has died, Malibu Search and Rescue confirmed.

We are deeply saddened by the passing of inmate firefighter Shawna Jones, 22, who passed away after suffering a fatal injury from a falling boulder while fighting a brush fire in Malibu this past week,” a post on the SAR social media account stated.

“The female inmate firefighters do a tremendous service for our community and their position is coveted and tremendously difficult to qualify for,” the post continued. “We hope she is remembered for her service to all.”

Update: Feb. 26, 7:15 a.m.: The brush fire that began before 3 a.m. Thursday morning, Feb. 25 was 95 percent contained as of 7:15 a.m. Friday morning, Los Angeles County Fire personnel confirmed.

“We have about 35 to 40 people still out there,” LACo Fire Inspector Ed Pickett said. “It’s basically being mopped up at this point.”

Information about a female camp crew inmate who suffered a “major” injury as was evacuated from the fire Thursday was not available.

Update: 12:50 p.m.: The fire that sprang up overnight in Western Malibu near Mulholland Highway remained at 75 percent containment at 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Wright described what it means to “contain” a blaze.

“We stopped forward progress of the fire [earlier this morning],” Wright said. Now, personnel are “digging roads” and “scratching down to the earth,” encircling the burned area.

“If anything were to flair up, it couldn’t get out of that box,” Wright said.

Over 150 firefighters remain on scene working on containment of the blaze, which burned 10 acres started at 2:55 Thursday morning, Feb. 25.

Update: 11:10 a.m.: The fire in Western Malibu was 75 percent contained as of 11:10 a.m. Thursday. All 200 firefighters were still on scene of the fire, which had burned about 10 acres.

The road closure at Mulholland Highway between Pacific Coast Highway and Little Sycamore Canyon Road remained in effect.

Update: 8:05 a.m.: One female camp crew inmate who was on scene of the brush fire Thursday morning, Feb. 25 was severely injured, though details about her injury were not available as of 8:05 a.m. Thursday.

“She suffered major injuries and is being transported by helicopter to an area hospital,” Los Angeles County (LACo) Fire Inspector Wright told The Malibu Times.

Conservation camps house inmates who choose to volunteer to work in fire crews during their prison terms.

“The primary mission of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Conservation Camp program is to provide an able-bodied, trained work force for fire suppression and other emergencies such as floods and earthquakes,” the CDCR website states.

Update: 7:30 a.m.: The fire was 35 percent contained as of 7:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Los Angeles County (LACo) Fire Inspector Wright, with no civilian injuries, no homes damaged and no mandatory evacuations.

Approximately 200 firefighters were on scene of the blaze, representing LACo Fire, Los Angeles Fire and Ventura County Fire Departments. 

The fire had been burning for approximately four and a half hours by Thursday morning.

“We started getting 911 calls at 2:55 this morning about a brush fire at Mulholland and PCH in Malibu,” Wright said. “Engines showed up to see smoke and fire that was burning rapidly uphill.”

An early morning brush fire near Decker Canyon in Western Malibu burned seven acres overnight before being contained Thursday morning.

Mulholland Highway was closed between Little Sycamore Canyon Road and the Pacific Coast Highway as of 7 a.m. Thursday.

“Right now we have stopped forward progress of the fire. There are still hot spots burning,” Inspector Wright of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told The Malibu Times at 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.