Updated: Malibu Evacuation Orders Lifted, Canyon Roads Remain Closed

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A boulder hit a car and, by extension, a motorist, who was sent to a local hospital.

[Jan. 17, 4:05 p.m.]: Evacuation orders were lifted for all those living in the Woolsey Fire burn area, according to a statement from Los Angeles County Fire. Evacuations went into effect Tuesday morning and remained until about 4 p.m. Thursday.

The closures of Malibu Canyon Road and Topanga Canyon Boulevard remained in effect Thursday afternoon. The canyons were to remain closed, “until Los Angeles County Public Works and Caltrans can ensure the stability of the hillsides,” according to the LA County statement. Decker Canyon Road (SR-23) also remained closed.

The potential for falling rocks, mud and debris flow still exists and residents should maintain good situational awareness when reentering the area,” information from the county stated. “Residents returning to evacuated areas can expect to see continuous running water at Arizona crossings and light mud and rock coverage on portions of roadway. Many canyon and local roads will be slippery and all motorists are urged to drive slowly and cautiously. Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water.”


[Update: Jan. 17, 7:37 a.m.]: As of this morning, Jan. 17, here are the road closures, in both directions:

*Malibu Canyon Road, between Piuma and Civic Center Way

*Topanga Canyon Road, between Grandview Drive and PCH

*Decker Canyon Road, between PCH and Upper Mulholland Highway

*Mulholland Highway, between PCH and Little Sycamore

Residents of Malibu Knolls will be able to enter their neighborhood at Civic Center Way with identification, per City of Malibu.

So far, no property damage or injuries have been reported. According to an incident update from LA County, 300 single-family residences are under threat by the storm.

Caltrans expects Topanga Canyon Road to reopen by noon today—though this is subject to change.

The National Weather Service estimates peak rainfall to occur through 1 p.m. today. Exercise caution while on the road due to debris, mud flow and other possible obstacles.


[Update: Jan. 17, 12:07 a.m.]: Topanga Canyon Boulevard was closed in both directions between Grandview and Pacific Coast Highway overnight from Wednesday, Jan. 16 to Thursday, Jan. 17, according to information provided by the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. A notice from the Topanga Town Council said the closure was “due to rocks and mud in the southbound lane.” 

No estimate for reopening was available.


[Update: Jan. 16, 8:20 p.m.]: Malibu Canyon Road will remain closed in both directions from Piuma Road to Civic Center way through tomorrow morning, Jan. 17. The announcement, made by the City of Malibu, did not share a specific reopen time.

“Due to darkness, crews are unable to assess the hillsides for risk of further rock or mudslides until morning,” the announcement read.

On social media, the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station identified the person injured by a rockslide as a woman and confirmed she was transported to a local hospital.


Malibu Canyon Road is completely closed in both directions from Mulholland Highway to Civic Center Way due to rockslides, per a City of Malibu alert. As of 6:55 p.m., there is no estimated time of reopening. 

One person was injured by one of the rockslides. Sgt. Panis of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said the person was “complaining of pain” after a boulder collided with their car on Malibu Canyon Road. It is not clear how many people were in the vehicle or the extent of the damage.

Motorists should use alternate routes and proceed with caution as the rainfall continues.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District cancelled classes for the third day in a row for Malibu schools due to inclement weather. This includes Point Dume Marine Science School, Webster Elementary School, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School and Malibu Middle and High School as well as the preschool and Boys & Girls Club of Malibu programs.

Rain is expected to fall through tomorrow, Jan. 17, with a peak rainfall between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. In a statement posted on Jan. 16, National Weather Service stated, “The last in a series of storms will move through the area tonight and Thursday generating periods of heavy rain that could trigger shallow mud and debris flows in and near recent burn scars across Los Angeles and eastern Ventura Counties. These include the Woolsey, Hill, South, and Stone burn scars.”

For storm safety tips and information, visit lacounty.gov/larain.