Letter: Questions on Managing the Fire

Letter to the Editor

1. Why did they evacuate Malibu and Topanga all at once, instead of pacing the evacuation area by area according to fire danger? It took some nine hours to get to the McClure Tunnel.

2. Why did they tell the Standard Station on Webb Way and PCH to shut down and leave? He was not let in to reopen for three days. People without gas could not evacuate. Some say it was also the case of the Shell Station on PCH in central Malibu. (I got this from the owner/manager himself. Jesus, people were running out of gas in the evacuation.)

3. Why did it take days to let the doctors in so they could open the Urgent Care?

4. Why were so many resources diverted to Pepperdine, leaving the west end even more unprotected?

5. Why was there no shelter provided that would take animals? (Palisades did not permit pets.) Many did not leave because they would not leave their pets behind. 

6. Why did they close off the roads in the Palisades, making it almost impossible for people in Malibu to reach that shelter?

7. Why were there no bathroom facilities provided for people who did not own cars or drive and were stranded at Bluffs Park? (I took in one 72-year old woman who worked at Pavilions and could not get out.)

8. Why didn’t they allow residents back in when the danger in their neighborhood was nonexistent? In the ’73 fire, they let residents back in (remember the dolphin stickers).

9. After the danger was over, why were people who needed food not permitted to go to Ralphs and then permitted to return home? (Many who went to Ralphs were turned back when they tried to return.)

These are just some of the major complaints I hear from everyone I speak to. There are others, but I have tried to stay to the ones I consider mismanagement and not the actual execution of fire-fighting.

Sharon Barovsky