vernight campingspells disaster


On behalf of the Malibu Township Council’s Board of Directors, I would like to thank you for the very impressive fire history you printed on Thursday. Although it has been 14 years since the last big fire in 1993, this year’s rapid destruction of five homes from a thrown cigarette shows how quickly a small spark can destroy someone’s dreams.

Since 1930, 1,435 homes have been destroyed, 573 firefighters have been hurt and 14 people have died. Fire is Malibu’s disaster. It takes a person at least two years to rebuild, find other housing and different schools for their children.

So with all this information at our fingertips, why would we want to increase overnight camping at the parks in Malibu? Why would we want to put people at risk in an emergency when PCH shuts down and people are without cell service in the mountains with no idea where to go? Why would the city want to accept this kind of liability?

Therefore, the Malibu Township Council, which applauds the efforts of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to improve the facilities at our parks, opposes the overnight camping component of the plan even if this is cold camping. Neither the City nor the Conservancy can enforce this rule and a nighttime spark in the mountains would be disastrous. One person’s carelessness does not equal another’s lifetime of effort. We have Leo Carrillo and Malibu State Park for overnight camping and we have day use of all our parks and that should really be enough.

Harriet Pollon