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Monday Morning Reflection 181112

On Saturday evening Rod, one of his neighbors, and I headed back into Malibu based on reports from inside that there were definitely things that we could do to protect our houses and assist others who had stayed in the city despite the mandatory evacuation. I went in with the purpose of getting as much of our personal possessions out of the the Point Dume Club that we wanted to try and save IF more days of Santa Ana burn possibility was going to occur- like the weather reports were predicting. We were able to find our way around the road blocks and police barricades to make our way in via Las Virgenes Road. 


We had heard that Rod’s house on Portshead– directly across from ours on Dume Drive- was spared due likely to a combination of the wind direction and his ambitious neighbor Eddie and his brother who were intent on maintaining their homes. Nice work Eddie and family!


The damage is tremendous. Of course for those who actually lost place and property. But also for those who didn’t. You will obviously be able to decide what you think about it when the restrictions are lifted and you head back in. I’ll give you some of my thoughts. My perspective-only based on what I had thought I would see in Malibu- when thinking about it from the hotel room in downtown Los Angeles on Friday night… compared to what I have seen over the past 24 hours since arriving in Malibu on Saturday night at about 8:30 PM.


I had anticipated complete and utter decimation. The image I had in my head from the Ventura county fire map and from reports/rumors was that everything burned From the ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains all the way to the edges of the Pacific. And that scene Seemed quite possible based on what I saw on Friday looking out over Malibu Park from our backyard. I couldn’t understand how any house would be left standing.


As someone who lost a house I empathize with those of you/us with the loss. Walking through the remains is shocking and numbing. We have a tenet there who lost everything inside. My family and I do still have a mobile home in Point Dume Club- where I am now. With blue skies and a light breeze it is hard to fathom what happened all around. The big picture view across Malibu Park it’s a mixed one: the mountain tops and the hillsides just beneath are completely charred but there are houses everywhere that are clearly still standing. However it’s not possible to actually see the houses that have been burnt to the ground so the view is a bit misleading. The base of the hills here from Pacific coast highway around Bonsall and Busch Drive are green with Blackened spaces around houses but you can see What looks like most of the houses around in this area are untouched. The edge of our fence in the backyard between our next-door neighbors is burned and the chain-link fence was cut by fire fighters to put out a burn patch area just outside of our home here. Very luckily one neighbor a few streets away saw smoke and glowing embers at 10 PM on Friday night and continuously drop buckets of water on the area and in a few instances was able to get fire fighter crew to get the burning to stop… That lasted until 4 AM when it was finally extinguished. Quite possibly Lisa with the help of Carson, Not only saved our mobile home and our neighbors… But perhaps avoided this whole edge of the park from burning as well. Not only saved our mobile home and our neighbors… But perhaps avoided this whole edge of the park from burning as well. You never know how much damage you prevent from putting out one single burning ember.  


I spent all day yesterday helping some people with their issues around their houses and preparing for more potential burning. In all of those cases nothing more materialized/ likely due to the fact that it was basically completely still and calm all day, almost no wind at all. I went a few times through our property at them drive just to get a grip with what had happened. Spent some time with neighbors who also lost their houses – and met literally dozens of others who I had never previously known. There is absolutely a sense of banding together to get through this as a community.


I have watched exactly ZERO News reports, so I don’t know what the perception is from the outside. I’m only starting to here questions about the effort to fight the fires on Friday and Saturday. Yet what I did see from early morning Sunday and all day long… Fire crews from All over California: Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Montebello, Norwalk,… Dozens and dozens more cities… Moving into neighborhoods to extinguish small pockets of fire and to Dallas smoldering rail road ties. In these situations, they were usually right at the edge of houses that were potentially going to burn but we are saved by the firefighters and the individuals who spotted the smoke.


It’s Monday morning and still no sign of any wind. Very good news. For those of you waiting to get in, including my own family, I can imagine the frustration. I have heard some people say they have gotten on boats… And it sounds like some have snuck in on various roads. Las Posas opened for a brief minute to let a few people in yesterday – so I got to see Andy and Heather at their house, which is still standing amidst the neighborhood where about 50% of them burned.  


I simply cannot wait to have everyone back so that everyone can assess The damage and figure out how to start moving on. We have a number of people who are looking for places to stay and/or rent. We will start trying to accomplish those tasks as soon as the evacuation is lifted.


Keep your spirits up and keep the communication going.

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