Public Suggests How the City Can Improve for Wildfire Preparedness

Image from Getty Images, Sandy Huffacker

Image from Getty Images, Sandy Huffacker

It’s been almost one year after the Woolsey Fire; an event that proved to be life changing for many. With this historic date almost approaching, a report has finally been released. This report details what went wrong during the Woolsey Fire. More importantly, it details what the city can do to improve itself in case another armaggeddon reaches Malibu. The report did not put all of the blame on the city government for its less than stellar role during the chaos of the Woolsey fire. The city had less authority than expected and was not responsible for some of the evacuation problems that Malibuites faced. 

Management Partners Regional Vice President Andrew Belknap, one of the organizers of the report, felt that the city should account more for Malibu’s uniqueness, as that relates to its somewhat difficult access and geographical features. He even pointed to the city’s name recognition as a point of confusion during the Woolsey fire. While Malibu may be a town famous around the world, its size and resources do not reflect that. Meaning, the City of Malibu is not fully in charge when the city is in peril. This was a misunderstanding for many of Malibu’s residents, which adds to the chaos and confusion all together. According to the Malibu Times, he says “ Many factors that impacted the city’s response were not in their formal authority to control or ability to influence during that incident.”

Many citizens are full of suggestions on how to prepare for another doomsday in Malibu. This was certainly expressed in the report, showing a staggering 53 suggestions. Some of the suggestions intends on improving communication within the city government. Malibu residents feel that communication was certainly lacking during those hectic November days.  Community members hope that the report will act as a wake up call that they feel like the city government needs. Re-entry was also an issue that highlighted Malibu’s communication errors. A few of the 53 suggestions deal exclusively with issues of re-entry. 

The city council will discuss the report done by Management Partners on August 12. Hopefully, these suggestions will come into fruition so that there will never be another Woolsey Fire. MM

Holly Bieler