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Southern California Wildfires
A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over interstate 5 outside of Griffith park in Los Angeles on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. A wind-driven wildfire raged through Southern California communities on Friday, burning homes and forcing thousands of people to flee as it relentlessly pushed toward tony Malibu and the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Southern California wildfire burns studio used by 'Westworld'

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BY JONATHAN LANDRUM JR., THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire in Southern California has scorched a historic movie site recently used by the HBO series "Westworld" as thousands fled flames that have claimed homes and prompted the total evacuation of the celebrity enclave Malibu.

The wind-driven wildfire has destroyed the historic Paramount Ranch where shows like HBO's "Westworld" and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" were filmed.

The blaze started Thursday night and by Friday had pushed toward Malibu and the Pacific Ocean, prompting evacuations in Malibu, Calabasas, Aguora Hills and other nearby areas.

Numerous celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had to flee their home as a result.

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Derrickson said he is safe despite losing his home.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said the Paramount Ranch known as the "Western Town" served as a location for productions ranging from 1938's "The Adventures of Marco Polo" to TV shows "The Mentalist" and "Weeds." The location known as "Western Town" is set in the mountains west of Los Angeles dates to 1927 when Paramount Pictures leased the ranch and began making films there.

Western Town specifically was built for TV productions in the 1950s and was used for such westerns as "The Cisco Kid" and "Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre."

Filming continued for decades even as the ranch changed hands. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980 but has continued to function as a filming location, serving as a location for the first two seasons of the sci-fi series "Westworld." HBO said it did not know extent of the damage and expressed concern for "all those affected by these horrible fires."

When not in use for filming, visitors could stroll through Western Town while hiking or ride through on horseback.
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Associated Press Writer John Antczak contributed to the report in Los Angeles.

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