California Highway Patrol Officer S. Kizito verifies that Malibu in Southern California is a real resident after Woolsey Fire evacuation orders, city of eastern part for the lift, lift up on Tuesday. 13, 2018. (AP Photo / Reed Saxon)
MALIBU, Calif. â € “More residents were allowed Friday to return to the homes they ran during the rapid spread of Southern California’s huge wildfire.
Authorities reopened more areas in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, but kept some locations within the Woolsey Fire zone off-limits due to hazards ranging from burning power poles to compromised gas lines and destroyed roadways.
A boil water order for one part of Malibu was lifted, but the disinfection of water was still needed in other areas.
Utility crews work to remove damaged equipment and bring in replacements, including numerous power poles.
Although the walls of flame and the huge columns of smoke were gone, firefighters continued to scorched area. Fire commanders said the 153-square-mile (396-square-kilometer) burn area was 69 percent surrounded.
With 57 percent of damage assessments completed, the count of destroyed structures reached 616. Another 183 structures were damaged.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Investigations Two adults were found in a gutted car last week, and the remains of a person were found Wednesday in the rubble of a home that burned to the ground.
Firefighters were keeping an eye on unburned islands of vegetation within the perimeter and on torched structures to prevent smoldering material from reviving the fire.
Weather was cooperating. The strong, dry Santa Ana winds that fanned flames in a firestorm last week were gone, and forecast for a return of night through the coast and some valleys.
Long-range models were inconsistent, but there was a possibility of some rain Wednesday and Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
In another positive development, another large wildfire that broke out in Ventura County on Nov. 8, the same day as the Woolsey Fire, was declared 100 percent included.
The 7-square-mile (18-square-kilometer) Hill Fire destroyed four structures and damaged two.
The cause of the Hill Fire remained undetermined, but Cal Fire said investigators had been able to rule out all potential causes other than human activity