Malibu homeless encampment sparks fears after brush fire threatens homes

For months, Lara Vidaurri has noticed a growing number of people cooking with portable stoves and over open flames at a homeless camp a few hundred yards below her Malibu home.

She said she reported the issue to police several times last year, worried about the fire danger the camp posed during what's turned out to be the most destructive fire season in California history. One day, she went herself to pick up trash in the area.

Vidaurri's fears grew early Monday when a wildfire crept up the hillside by her home, scorching nearly three acres and forcing her and her neighbors to flee.
Though the cause remains under investigation, the blaze renewed concerns raised last month when a cooking fire at an encampment sparked the destructive Skirball fire in Bel-Air. A large swath of the affluent community was forced to evacuate, and several homes were destroyed.

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