Western Town at Paramount Ranch, Filming Location Since 1927, Burns in Woolsey Fire: NPS
The Woolsey Fire has destroyed a tourist icon in the Santa Monica Mountains: Paramount Ranch, a Western-style town in Agoura where many films and televisions shows were shot.
The National Park Service announced just before noon Friday that the "Western Town" burned.
American actors Richard Arlen and Mary Brian ride a tractor on the Paramount Ranch during the filming of "Gun Smoke," circa 1931. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
"We do not have any details or photos, but it is our understanding that the structures have burned. This area is an active part of the incident and we cannot access it," the park service's Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area announced on Twitter
By sunset Friday, the Woolsey Fire has burned some 35,000 acres since it broke out east of Simi Valley
about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Fanned by strong Santa Ana winds, it jumped the 101 Freeway about 5 a.m. Friday and has continued south.
An unknown number of structures has burned. Some 200,000 residents have been evacuated, a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman said.
By 12:30 p.m., the city of Malibu said the blaze was headed for populated areas of the sprawling, coastal municipality.
"Fire is burning out of control, heading into populated areas of Malibu. All residents evacuate now," the city tweeted
The Woolsey and nearby Hill fires on Thursday forced the park service to close its sites in the Santa Monica Mountains – where a patchwork of federal and state land provides hiking, recreation opportunities and open space to Southern Californians.
A 2012 photo shows part of the Western Town at Paramount Ranch. (Credit: National Park Service)
Originally part of Rancho Las Virgenes, the 2,700-acre property was purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1927 to create a "movie ranch," according to the park service
. Paramount Ranch became the filming location for 1941's " Caught in the Draft," starring Bob Hope, among many other shoots.
From the 1950s to 1980, the ranch changed hands but remained a film location, and has been the site of more recent productions such as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," "The Mentalist," "Weeds," and "Westworld."
The park service, which bought part of the property in 1980 and has since revitalized it, also hosts many public events there.
The ranch is at 2903 Cornell Road in unincorporated Los Angeles County, south of Agoura Hills.
An Aug. 16, 2017, photo shows part of the Western Town at Paramount Ranch. (Credit: National Park Service)