An inmate deployed as a firefighter suffered major injuries Thursday when she was hit by a falling rock while battling a pre-dawn brush fire that scorched about 10 acres along the Malibu ridgeline.
The blaze, which was about 75 percent contained this afternoon, started in the area of Mulholland Highway and Bardman Street about 3 a.m. About 200 firefighters were sent to the scene, said county fire Dispatch Supervisor Rey Dong.
By about 6:30 a.m., the fire was about 35 percent contained, and firefighters had stopped the flames from spreading further, said county fire Inspector Randall Wright.
A short time afterward, the inmate camp crew member was injured by a boulder that fell about 100 feet from a hillside.
Firefighters immediately began treatment and administered CPR, according to the fire department, which reported the inmate was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of “major injuries.”
She remained hospitalized in critical condition this afternoon, officials said,
The cause of the blaze, which was fought by fire crews from Los Angeles and Ventura counties and three water-dropping helicopters, was under investigation.
The fire burned in heavy brush, working its way uphill in some spots, and authorities shut down Mulholland Highway in both directions near the fire area, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Residents of nearby homes were asked to evacuate, according to authorities. However, no mandatory evacuations were ordered, Dong said.
Campers at two camps were evacuated, including a self-evacuation at Camp Shalom involving 120 children.
The injured inmate’s name has not been released.
—City News Service