MALIBU — The city of Malibu has issued a list of updates regarding wildfire season preparedness, evacuation plans, and the results of their emergency siren sound study.
On August 6, city staff participated in a virtual exercise with regional fire response partners to coordinate emergency communication and response actions. The exercise scenario depicted a fire in Topanga that was moving towards Malibu.
In the scenario, staff utilized strategies such as, “directing evacuees west, utilizing Zuma as a temporary safe refuge, and deploying emergency generators to traffic signals if power is lost.”
Malibu has also implemented a mass evacuation plan that has plans for multiple levels of emergency. The plan details evacuation orders and warnings, shelter in place orders, a hard closure versus a soft closure, and a resident-only closure. To read the full Malibu evacuation plan click here.
As part of the evacuation plan, the city established evacuation zones that are correlated with historic Malibu fire corridors. These zones will help “identify the timing, order, and routes of evacuation for specific areas to be more effective and avoid traffic bottlenecks,” as an online statement details.
Malibu has also stressed for residents to obtain a dolphin decal for their vehicle which will assist emergency personnel to identify individuals who need to access their homes during a fire or any emergency that causes road closures.
In an effort to monitor fire risk, Malibu has begun tracking live fuel moisture. As of August 19, the moisture level is at 71%, ad 6% decrease from one month ago. Live fuel moisture can reach 200% but critical levels are below 60%. The Los Angeles Fire Department collects data on the live fuel moisture every two weeks.
The results of the siren sound study have been partially released with mixed results. The city wrote that wind and home insulation presented a significant impact on siren sound coverage. The results were presented to the Public Safety Commission on August 14 and will be presented to the City Council at their September 14 meeting.