Inmate Crew Member Suffers ‘Major Injuries' in Malibu Brush Fire

The fire burned about 7 acres and forced a canyon road closure above the Southern California seaside community

A firefighting inmate crew member was injured Thursday morning during a brush fire in a steep and rugged area of Malibu that forced a canyon road closure.

The blaze was reported around 3:30 a.m. near Mulholland Highway and Pacific Coast Highway. The nearly 10-acre fire was 75-percent contained by 11 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A member of an inmate camp crew helping with the firefight was struck in the head by a rock and hospitalized with "major injuries," according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department  A helicopter rescue team airlifted the crew member out of the canyon.

Mulholland Highway will be closed Thursday morning between Sycamore Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway as fire crews watch for hot spots.

A voluntary evacuation order was in effect for residents in the sparsely populated area. About 80 people, including children and staff members, were at Camp Shalom, where buses were dispatched in case the campers needed to move. Nearby Camp Bloomfield was not affected, according to the sheriff's department.

No structures were damaged.

About 200 firefighters responded to the early morning fire. Firefighting helicopters also attacked the fire.

Fire camp crew members receive special training from the fire department to help with fire suppression and other emergencies. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation selects inmates to join CalFire and local crews across the state, and Los Angeles County operates its own inmate firefighter program for inmates who are non-violent offenders.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd and Nyree Arabian contributed to this report.

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