Malibu brush fire prompts evacuation order amid red-flag conditions

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A brush fire in Malibu created an early morning scare for residents, who were forced to evacuate their homes. (KABC)

A small brush fire erupted in Malibu Monday morning, threatening structures and forcing an evacuation amid red-flag conditions.

The blaze erupted shortly after 3 a.m. and burned near the Malibu Knolls neighborhood in the Malibu Civic Center area, authorities said. Evacuations were temporarily ordered for Harbor Vista Road, Malibu Canyon Road and Malibu Crest.

Crews were dealing with 40 mph winds, Eleni Tappas of the L.A. County Fire Department said, adding that no homes were lost or damaged.

"It's dry, it's windy and it's hot," said fire inspector Randall Wright.

MORE: Latest Southern California forecast

Firefighters initially estimated the blaze to be 6 acres but later changed the figure to approximately 2.6 acres.

Three water-dropping helicopters were aiding in the firefight, siphoning water out of Pepperdine University. Tappas said 213 firefighters were on the ground.

By 4:50 a.m., firefighters had stopped the forward progress of the fire, and the blaze was 95 percent contained.

The brush fire appeared to be suspicious in nature, Tappas said. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

MORE: Southern California weather watches, warnings

Large swaths of the Southland were under red-flag warnings Monday due to high winds and above-average temperatures. Some areas were also under a wind advisory or a high-wind warning. The strong winds are expected to calm down in the afternoon.
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brush fireevacuationMalibuLos Angeles County
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