Small brush fire breaks out on Tuna Canyon on Jan. 21; no major damage reported

A brush fire occurred on Saturday, Jan. 21, on Tuna Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway. Aerial shot courtesy of Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness Twitter.

The LA County Fire Department stopped a one-acre fire on Tuna Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway on Saturday, Jan. 21, and prevented it from spreading to five acres with winds at 10 mph. Tuna Canyon Road was closed while fire personnel was on the scene. The brush fire was 50 percent contained within 30 minutes. 

The brush fire was reported by the LA County Fire Department and Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness via Twitter accounts. 

During the Malibu City Council meeting on Monday, residents raised concerns about the property’s history of common fires and asked to have the owner take responsibility.

On July 9, 2021, the LA County Fire Department responded to a 3.8-acre brush fire in Tuna Canyon in eastern Malibu. There were no reported injuries and no evacuations, although the road was closed for hours. The brush fire was confirmed to be caused by a homeless encampment by LA County Fire Department.

Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Department Lt. Dustin Carr and City Manager Steve McClary provided updates and said the brush fire was started by a homeless encampment.  

“All indications are that this was originated as an illegal camp that was being occupied by persons experiencing homelessness,” McClary said. “The city is aware of the incident and we are looking into all of our options in including what we can do to bring any code enforcement actions against the property or property owner.”

During his public safety report, Carr provided an update on the brush fire. 

“Whoever lit that fire fled, but it did appear to be a homeless encampment,” Carr said. 

Carr said deputies and the Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) offered services to four individuals camping around that area last year in September. 

“It appears we are going to need to pay some more attention, as well as your efforts from the city,” Carr said.

Fire Hawk Chinook double dipping
Los Angeles County Fire helicopters Fire Hawk and Chinook are shown double-dipping before going back to the brush fire. These two are snorkeling almost 4,000 gallons of water between them. Photo courtesy Acting Assistant Chief Drew Smith.