Residents at a Sunday evening town hall in Woodland Hills questioned the strategy behind the battle against the Woolsey Fire, some of them desperately asking if their houses were still standing.
On the fourth day of the firefight, officials said the devastation could have been much worse.
One concerned resident said she didn't see firefighters in Malibu.
"We love our firemen, but it’s not safe for them out there, now," the woman said. "We need way more."
Others appeared to take issue with officials' decision to have students at the Malibu campus of Pepperdine University shelter in place instead of evacuating when flames got dangerously close.
"They should have been evacuated like everybody else," one resident said.
A fire official assured residents that an agreement between firefighters and the university exists in order to make sure students are safe.
"We cannot sacrifice the rest of Malibu for Pepperdine," State Senator Henry Stern told residents at the Taft High School meeting. "These students though, their lives matter."
He said he too has been experiencing anxiety and frustration due to the fire. He didn't know if his home, or his grandparents' home was still standing.
“This has been one of the toughest weeks of my life, I'm sure for many of you, too,” Stern, who represents areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, said.
The meeting lasted several hours and though many questions were left unanswered, officials will work to make sure that problems that existed during the Woolsey Fire can be remedied or avoided.