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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Three men pleaded not guilty Friday to causing a wildfire that destroyed 50 homes in Malibu, and their lawyers said outside court that they were being made scapegoats by an outraged community. Attorneys entered not guilty pleas for Brian David Franks, 27; William Thomas Coppock, 23; and Brian Alan Anderson, 22, all of Los Angeles. In all, five men have been charged with recklessly causing the Nov. 24 fire that swept through 4,000 acres of Malibu Canyon.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2007 | Howard Blume
The final identified suspects in the Corral Canyon fire turned themselves in Friday and each quickly posted $240,000 bail, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said. Eric Ullman, 18, and Dean Lavorante, 19, both of Culver City, surrendered at the Malibu/Lost Hills sheriff's station. They, and three others still in custody, face a hearing Friday, at which they will enter formal pleas to felony charges. The Malibu blaze began Nov.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2007 | Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writer
Attorneys for some of the suspects charged with setting last month's Corral fire said the men thought they had put out the campfire blamed for the blaze before they left. The men, who had been scheduled to be arraigned on felony charges Friday in Van Nuys, were named Thursday by sheriff's detectives as suspects in the November brush fire that destroyed more than 50 homes in the hills above Malibu.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2007 | Andrew Blankstein and Jean-Paul Renaud, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles County sheriff's arson detectives on Thursday named five men as suspects in the November brush fire in the hills above Malibu that destroyed more than 50 homes. Authorities said the suspects -- ages 18 to 27 -- were having an illegal late-night campfire near a cave in Corral Canyon when the blaze broke out. Detectives found alcohol containers, food wrappers and bundled fire logs, and were able to trace the items to the suspects during the last month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2007 | Evelyn Larrubia, Ari B. Bloomekatz and Kenneth R. Weiss, Times Staff Writers
It is a tale of one city with two distinct personalities. Seaward of Pacific Coast Highway are most of the billionaires, film stars and other celebrities who own oceanfront homes that unfurl like flowers onto Malibu's quasi-private beaches. On the other side of PCH, especially up the rugged canyons, are residents of a different kind. Some are wealthy, to be sure, but many are professional class or lucky longtime homeowners who bought in early.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2007 | Andrew Blankstein and Evelyn Larrubia, Times Staff Writers
Investigators on Monday concluded that the Malibu fire started in the vicinity of a cave in Corral Canyon known for being a late-night party hangout. Authorities said they still don't know whether the Saturday morning blaze was intentionally set but are convinced that people who were at the cave at that time know what happened. "We believe there are witnesses who have yet to come forward [and who] can provide crucial information to assist us in this investigation," said L.A.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2007 | Robert J. Lopez, Ashraf Khalil and Kenneth R. Weiss, Times Staff Writers
Minutes after the outbreak of the Corral fire early Saturday, Los Angeles County fire officials had four helicopters in the air attacking the flames, and more than 25 firetrucks stationed nearby were on their way to Malibu. With the blaze expected to be fully contained today and evacuees allowed to return home Sunday, county Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman credited the quick response and the loss of only 53 homes to planning that began a week ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2007 | Martha Groves, Times Staff Writer
With Malibu enduring its third significant wildfire of the year, some residents say this weekend's Corral fire has strengthened their resolve to oppose a controversial plan to expand camping in the Santa Monica Mountains. The specter of new campgrounds in arid hills and canyons is "just a scary scenario," said Ed Meyer, a four-year resident of Malibu whose home overlooks Malibu Canyon. "There are no fire towers here," he added. "You're in a risky fire area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2007 | Hector Becerra, Sharon Bernstein and Jean-Paul Renaud, Times Staff Writers
Realtor Brian Merrick stood on a high ridge in Malibu, looking out at the smoke Saturday. His livelihood depends on the chaparral-covered hills. But even now, in a year when three large brush fires have destroyed dozens of Malibu homes, he isn't worried. "As soon as we get some rains and the burn turns green, everybody forgets," Merrick said. "And they come back. It's not the first fire, and it won't be the last one."
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