14 Months After Fire Disaster, City Takes Steps To Address Fire Threat

Written by on January 24, 2020

Malibu does not have a plan for wildfire protection … never really has.

Nor does it have a finalized evacuation plan.

The Woolsey Fire laid those shortcomings bare.

And it has taken much of a year to fix that.

First … wildfire protection.

The City of Malibu is drawing up a citywide Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

The plan will be a community-based plan focused on identifying and addressing local hazards, risks and vulnerabilities from wildfire.

It provides a roadmap of action items to help the community prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from wildfires.

It may also help the City qualify for state and federal funding opportunities to ultimately implement the plan.

The city is now planning two public workshops … and will also conduct an online survey … to get community feedback as part of the development of the plan.

Mayor Karen Farrer put out a press release … she says the city got a “critical wake-up call to put our wildfire preparedness into overdrive.” 

That plan has been in neutral for 14 months since the Woolsey Fire … … some say.

And while the city has taken steps to enhance wildfire preparedness since Woolsey … it has not taken large steps to address fire hazards.

The workshops will come on February 20 and 22.

We will keep you posted.


If there is one point everyone in Malibu can agree upon … it’s that the evacuation during the Woolsey Fire was a complete disaster.

Thousands of motorists sat dead still in traffic.

It was scary.

It was disorganized.

It was a mess.

The C H P was not only nowhere to be seen … it turns out that they did not even know there was a problem.

And the city did not have a plan.

The city now has a plan… a comprehensive document that calls for specific action to speed traffic out of Malibu and into Santa Monica in the inevitable next disaster.

The city’s plan includes putting generators out for Caltrans … to hook up traffic lights.

They will do this whenever the power company threatens to turn off the Malibu lights due to high winds.

Also … new protocols and checklists to ensure that the sheriff … C H P … Caltrans and Santa Monica police are all on the same page.

The plan goes up for final discussion with the six different police and highway agencies that control various chunks of pavement.

That discussion will happen on Thursday.

But not on that list … the City of Los Angeles …

L A P D has been known to close P C H in Pacific Palisades during brushfires.

The evacuation plan has been revised to include information about Dolphin Stickers … the stickers that supposedly will ease Malibu residents efforts to get past roadblocks.

In the past … those stickers have been pretty much worthless.

The entire emergency evacuation plan goes before the Malibu Disaster Council .. an official city panel  made up of the public safety agencies … at a public meeting next Thursday at City Hall.

It’s at 10 in the morning … Thursday.

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