Fire Pits, Lighter Fluid Discovered In Central Malibu Encampment; 7 Hungry Kids and Mom Found In Canyon

Written by on June 4, 2021

There was a small fire last week …. at a secret homeless encampment  hidden in the trees at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway at Malibu Canyon Road.

This is the site for the proposed Malibu Cemetery … owned by a Malibu developer … approved four years ago but not built.

An 8 by 8 foot section of fire was put out quickly …. but what city fire official Chris Broussard found hidden in the weeds afterward was most alarming.


It had a dug-in barbecue pit where the individual had dug a small hole in the ground .. had a barbecue grate over the top if it … had a miniature Weber grid and in his little milk crate E he had barbecue lighter … charcoal briquettes … you know your standard like house fire clicker.”

And that was hidden under overhanging eucalyptus trees.

And if that wasn’t enough …


I actually took three hypodermic needles off of that area.”

And that’s not all.

Somebody is doing auto repairs on the site.

Oil on the ground … jacks and other equipment scattered in the dirt.

A tree service company is dumping branches and debris on the site.

The property’s last known owner was Malibu real estate developer Richard Weintraub … thru a limited liability corporation that he controlled.

In 2017 .. the city approved his plans to build a cemetery there.

Since then … the land has sat vacant.

And it was cited as Exhibit A by the city Public Safety Commission at last night’s meeting … when it approved tightening the city’s nuisance property ordinance.

As for the immediate threat from the Malibu Cemetery land … it may not be the worst threat.

Broussard says he is especially worried about people living in the brush up Tuna Canyon … above the eastern city limits in the Topanga Canyon area.

He says numerous people are living up there … creating a high risk of fire.

And public safety commissioner Chris Frost says the hundreds of people living on Venice beach are about to be ordered away … and we can expect some to spill over into Malibu canyons and beaches. 

The owner of the lower part of Tuna Canyon has been sent a bill by the city … the cost of front end loader and trucks to haul a way a huge encampment that polluted the creek habitat.

But city Public Safety Director Susan Duenas says she thinks the owner has thrown it into the round file.

That’s why the Public Safety Commission approved the new tighter language on public nuisance properties.

It goes to the city council now for adoption. 


A mother with 7 children … living in her van in a canyon road west of Malibu … has been a spectacle for several days.

On social media … the woman was reportedly onm th eside of Mulhooland Highway above Leo Carrillo beach …  without food water or diapers.

Yesterday …sheriff’s deputies talked to the woman … and made a determination that she was unable to care for her kids … in the canyon.

The children .. ages 2 to en12 … and the mother were taken to the Malibu Lost Hills sheriff’s station.

The children were fed … deputies at the Malibu Lost Hills station taking care of them.

The county Department of Childrens Health Services took the kids to fosters homes.  The mother was offered help … to find short term shelter … with the long-term  goal of reuniting the family. 


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