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1970 Chatsworth-Malibu fires

Sept. 25, 1970: Randy Pearson, 18, kneels in front of his Chatsworth home as the roof goes up in flames. This Los Angeles Times image ran on Page 1 after brush fires in Malibu and Chatsworth combined into a 20-mile front, destroying 150 homes.

Over the next five days, Southern California fires killed 10 people, burned 500,000 acres, destroyed four churches, 400 homes and 190 other structures. Santa Ana winds were clocked at up to 80 mph.

Sept. 26, 1970: A statue of St. Francis of Assisi stands in front of Serra Retreat in Malibu, most of which was destroyed by fire. About 175 homes in Malibu burned. (Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times)

Sept. 25, 1970: Two teenagers toss pool water on flames in Chatsworth. Firefighters who later took over the fight at the home said the teens’ efforts helped to save it. (Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times)

September 1970: Firetrucks stand guard as flames from the Malibu Canyon fire race toward Pacific Coast Highway during the night. (Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times)

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