Malibu Residents Share Concerns Over Handling of Woolsey Fire

Malibu's mayor hosted a meeting with local residents to discuss moving forward following the devastating Woolsey Fire, as well as voice their concerns over what went wrong with respect to the response to the 97,000-acre wildfire.

Some residents expressed concerns over how long the process to rebuild would take.

"When are they going to get to our neighborhood? Who's deciding in what order these homes are being inspected?" Stephen Murphy asked. "I don't know if this is classified, or what, but nobody can answer this question for me."

Others said they felt the city didn't meet its obligations to its residents.

"Basically, I think our city failed us," resident Pamella Whitham said.

"No one came to see if we had food, water or communication. People were sleeping in their cars with their animals, and no one was there to help us," she said.

Mayor Jefferson Wagner said he sympathizes with his neighbors. He lost his own home in the fire, and suffered significant injuries trying to save it.

"My injuries were because I stayed behind and fought to save my home. I failed, but I'm here healthy. I saved a garage and I saved a neighbor's home," he said.

The city is working with Los Angeles County to expedite debris removal and get the long process of rebuilding moving forward.

The Woolsey Fire ignited on Nov. 8 on Ventura County and burned all the way to the Pacific Ocean before it was fully contained two weeks later, according to Cal Fire. It claimed three lives, destroyed 1,500 structures -- hundreds of them in Malibu, and damaged 341 more. The cause remains under investigation.

 

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