Fire safety liaison provides a live fuel moisture during Public Safety meeting

The Public Safety Commission addressed traffic, construction, and what the city is doing to prepare for fire season.

To start off the meeting, Public Safety Liaison Luis Flores announced the Annual Homeless Connect Day will take place on Sept. 22 and an provided an update on the Temporary Day-Use Impound Yard. Flores said there have been a total of 167 vehicles towed so far and no report of issues.

City of Malibu Public Safety Specialist Sarah Kaplan said the city will distribute free National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fire weather radios on Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at Malibu City Hall. Residents must register in advance. 

The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is authorized to use NOAA alerting signals to alert the public in LA County about wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters by sending out an alert message over the NOAA weather radio frequencies. With an NOAA weather radio, you can receive emergency information after power and communications are knocked out. According to the city’s website, priority will be given to residents who require assistance to acquire a personal weather radio, as well as elderly or disabled individuals, or those with other mobility issues.

Public Works Director Rob DuBoux gave an update on the recent proposal from Caltrans to implement bike lanes but remove parking spaces on Pacific Coast Highway.

“They discussed adding bike lanes and removing parking on PCH, which I tried to convince them that’s not a good idea,” DuBoux said. “Removing parking on PCH, you can’t do that without getting a coastal development permit and working with the Coastal Commission, but they proceeded to do their meeting and say that anyways, quite disappointing.”

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DuBoux said Caltrans reached out to him and are interested in his input and what can be done on PCH from Malibu Canyon Road to city limits in regards to bike lanes improvements.

“Caltrans and I have been meeting on a regular basis, once a week, trying to strategize and look at different options that they can do out there,” DuBoux said. “I think there’s some other opportunities where they can reduce the median width a little bit to account for more shoulder width in those areas and put together a standard shoulder width for both vehicle parking and bicycle safety.”

DuBoux also provided an update on the Trancas Bridge Replacement Project construction and they are required to do soundproofing to reduce noise and added temporary paving on PCH.

Commissioner Josh Spiegel shared the recent brush goat clearance that took place at Malibu West on Wednesday, July 20. The board of the Malibu West Homeowners’ Association hired a herd of nearly 200 goats to eat 12 acres of brush on the surrounding hillsides of Malibu West.  

“Not only did the goats do a great job, it really brought the community together and I think that’s a very unique and strange confluence between public safety and rural character, and I don’t think we get that very much,” Spiegel said. “So if there’s any way that we can explore Cal Fire grants or other creative goat brush clearance in our community, I think that we should look into it.”

Malibu Fire Safety Liaison Gabe Etcheverry provided a thorough report and presentation on live fuel moisture and factors that influence wildfire risk. Etcheverry said the live fuel moisture measures the dry fuel and gives them a percentage of the moisture content. Etcheverry said they gather data from the National Weather Service and come out every two years. To view the report, visit lacounty.gov and view the County of Los Angeles Fire Department Daily Fire Danger Analysis Live Fuel Moisture document.

As for water restrictions concerns, Etcheverry recommends homeowners implement succulents, brick, rock, concert, or dirt to conserve water and prevent wildfires.

Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Lt. Dustin Carr joined the meeting and gave an update on the deceased person at Trancas Dog Park. A man died while watching his dog at the Trancas Dog Park on Tuesday, Aug. 3. Initial reports suggest the man, believed to be in his 60s, died while visiting the park with his German shepherd. Witnesses said the man had been talking to other park goers just minutes before he apparently lost consciousness. Responding authorities declared the man deceased. 

“We need to make sure that their family is notified but I do not believe any foul play or anything like that was suspected,” Carr said.

Spiegel said he met the man before he passed away peacefully. 

“I did speak to him around 4 p.m., and we were just chatting; seemed like a really nice guy hanging out with his dog,” Spiegel said. “I saw that he went to lie down on a blanket underneath the trees and then about an hour later, I took a look and noticed he wasn’t breathing, checked his pulse, and it seemed like he went peacefully.” 

Spiegel said the Lost Hills Sheriff’s and fire department responded fairly quickly.

“I’m sure we’ll be keeping track of his beautiful German shepherd and my condolences go out to his family,” Spiegel said.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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