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Historic filming location for HBO's Westworld burns down in Cali wildfire

Contributed by
Nov 9, 2018

A historic filming location for movies and television shows set in the Old West has burned down from the Woolsey wildfire currently raging in California. The Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills has been used by such productions as The Cisco KidDr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and, more recently, HBO's Westworld

The destruction of the ranch was confirmed by the Twitter account for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area on Twitter. 

"We are sorry to share the news that the #WoolseyFire has burned Western Town at #ParamountRanch in Agoura," wrote the account in a post that included a picture of the ranch before the fire. "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."

L.A.-based photojournalist John Schreiber also posted photos of the site on Twitter.

Paramount Ranch was purchased by the titular studio in the late 1920s and served as foreign locales for directors and actors like Cecil B. Demille, Bob Hope, and Gary Cooper, according to the official website. Paramount was forced to sell in the early '50s, but businessman William Hertz, a fan of the Western genre, bought a portion of the land and kept up the Old West aesthetic by erecting a permanent town there, which obviously attracted film crews once more. 

Hertz eventually sold the land and between 1957 and 1980, it passed through a lot of owners. The National Park Service finally breathed new life into the location in '80, cementing it as a historic landmark for Western-based productions that was meant to stand the test of time. Sadly, all of that vibrant Hollywood history has been burned to ash by the wildfire. 

The Woolsey Fire is one of three wildfires destroying thousands of acres of property and forcing mass evacuations all across California, reports CNN. The Woolsey and Hill fires are more in the south near Los Angeles, whilst the Camp Fire is causing mass destruction and chaos in the north. All of this stems from high winds and low humidity.

Not even Hollywood's elite have been spared from the natural disaster. Doctor Stranger director Scott Derrickson has already lost his home. Others like Rainn Wilson (The Meg), Kim Kardashian (Ocean's 8), Roma Downey (The Bible), Melissa Etheridge, Linden Ashby (Teen Wolf) Alyssa Milano (DC Showcase: The Spectre), and Eddie McClintock (Supergirl), have all evacuated their homes in Malibu, Calabasas, and Thousand Oaks.

Meanwhile, Drunk History creator Derek Waters put the filming of his show on hold, fearing for the well-being of his crew. 

Firefighting officials have said that it could be a week or longer until rain arrives to help alleviate the situation. 


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