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Santa Ana winds fan Malibu blaze

About 100 evacuated as workers try to contain fire

Flames damage a vehicle on the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu.
Flames damage a vehicle on the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu.

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Strong winds raked Southern California, fanning wildfires across Malibu hillsides and making it difficult for firefighters to battle flames. Affiliate KCOP reports. (January 7)
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MALIBU, California (CNN) -- Authorities were keeping a watchful eye Tuesday on hundreds of homes in the beach community of Malibu, California, as more than 1,000 firefighters worked to control a wildfire that has scorched 2,200 acres and damaged three homes and a car.

The blaze, which broke out early Monday, remained 10 percent contained, a Los Angeles County fire official told CNN.

Fierce Santa Ana winds have hampered firefighters' efforts, but those hot, desert gusts have fallen significantly, to 15 to 25 mph, the official said.

Fire officials said they hope the winds remain calmer and that the blaze can be contained by the end of the day, he said.

About 100 residents were evacuated Monday night from about 200 homes, said the fire official, but he emphasized the homes are not "threatened."

No civilians or firefighters have been injured, but two California highway patrol officers were struck and hurt Monday night by a motorist who drove through a roadblock set up near the blaze. They suffered moderate injuries and remained hospitalized Tuesday.

Damage to two of the homes and the car is said to be minor, the official said. The third home was 30 percent damaged.

Officials do not know the cause of the fire.

Malibu is on the Pacific Ocean in northwestern Los Angeles County. Fires are common because of the area's dry underbrush and sometimes high winds. Blazes also hit Malibu in 1996 and 1993, according to the city's Web site.

CNN producer Betty Anderson contributed to this report.



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