Residents Ask Why Homeless Encampment Sparked Second Brushfire in Tuna Canyon

Written by on November 13, 2020

Malibu residents cannot help but wonder … how can this keep happening?

For the second time this week … a warming fire at a homeless camp has apparently spread into a pretty big brushfire in eastern Malibu.

This morning … the fire was much bigger than the two previous fires.

Video shot by a KBUU listener is posted at the station’s Facebook page.

It shows the entire hillside … just north of PCH and just west of the narrow road … fully aflame.

One helicopter was assigned .. but it’s not clear if it was used to dump water on the hillside.

A second alarm dispatch was ordered … that brought about 100 firefighters out.

The fire broke out at 5:03 … and with in a few minutes it totally burned the hillside.

It was not burning towards any homes … but residence along the coast saw embers raining down towards them.

Pacific coast highway was closed in both directions as firefighters laid lines across the roadway … most of the fire hydrants in the area are on the ocean side of the road.

And that complicated reopening the road … as fire trucks and hoses could not be cleared until all the hotspots were out.

Traffic heading towards Santa Monica was allowed to start passing through at 8 o’clock.

Driving towards Malibu did not resume until about 830.

At one point cars were diverted up Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

City officials so the homeless camp could not be cleared until I got a letter of agency from the private properties owner.

California law does not allow sheriffs deputies or social workers clear off the property unless the property owner consents.

The letter of agency arrived this week … and city officials had already planned to meet with sheriff deputies today to assess the large homeless camp.

Malibu mayor Mikke Pierson told KBUU News this morning …

“There is an enormous of debris to be dealt with.

“A lot of it is personal possessions that cannot be thrown out.”

He agreed though that today’s fire made the matter more urgent.

Malibu residents, on social media, were seen asking how this could happen, after previous fires in the same area.

A similar fire broke out in the cold predawn hours Monday morning.

And there was a brush fire in the same Canyon several weeks ago as well.

Today’s fire came just as firefighters had finished dealing with a fire earlier this morning.

The first fire was on top of Saddle Peak …

It was reported at 2:23 in the morning … near the corner of Schuern Road and Piuma Road.

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