Brush Fire Breaks Out Near Malibu Presbyterian Early Friday Morning

LA County Fire Department respond to the brush fire.

A three-acre brush fire broke out early Friday morning, Oct. 19, before 1 a.m. across from the Malibu Presbyterian Church. By 1:29 a.m., the LA County Fire Department shared “forward progress has been stopped with no active flame,” through its social media.

The fire was sparked from an illegal cooking fire, according to information from the City of Malibu’s public safety manager Susan Dueñas. 

When asked about the initial location of the cooking fire, Dueñas said, “My understanding is that it was a single individual ‘encampment.’”

The cooking fire was started by a person trespassing on private property, an Oct. 24 City of Malibu alert confirmed.

Neighbors who came to speak at the Monday, Oct. 22, city council meeting reported the flames were first spotted by a nearby resident who awakened in the middle of the night.

The call came in at 12:48 a.m., according to Sgt. Braden of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. The location was initially reported as 3324 Malibu Canyon Road.

LACoFD Dispatch Supervisor Jeremy Stafford said the fire was “approximately 2-3 acres” when the department got on scene, and that it was “stopped shortly thereafter.”

By 2 a.m., a City of Malibu report said fire department personnel were on scene to mop up the remains of the fire.

No injuries nor structure damage was incurred, according to initial reports. No evacuations were called at the time the fire broke out.

As of 6:40 a.m., Braden confirmed “Our personnel [deputies] have cleared the scene.”

The fire department still had one engine at the scene as of 7:06 a.m.

The National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning alert for Friday. NWS gave estimates of wind gusts between 30-45 m.p.h. with low humidity in the LA/Ventura counties.

The City of Malibu and Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station are now encouraging residents to file “letters of agency”—which essentially give deputies permission to deal with trespassers on private property. For more information, visit

Editor’s note: This brief has been updated with comments from the fire department and the City of Malibu public safety manager.

This news brief will be updated as more information is obtained.