Photo courtesy of Pepperdine Graphic
A brush fire was contained Sunday at 3000 Rambla Pacifico in Malibu, according to Inspector David Dantic of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Personnel were dispatched at 4:37 p.m. to reports of a brush fire and arrived on the scene at 4:42 p.m. The report noted the incident as a small fire going uphill. The fire was located on one acre of medium brush and was contained in less than an hour. There is a continued fire watch on the area.
Wildfires in California are of the utmost concern this season, as massive fires are destroying parts of Northern California, according to weather.com. The two most rampant fires in Northern California have already destroyed approximately 229 square miles.
The abundance of dry fuel across California is the biggest concern for firefighters right now, said Dantic.
The Los Angeles Fire Department has implemented a plan called Ready, Set, Go! to help families stay safe in the event of a fire.
The plan encourages families to get ready and gives them tips for preparation, including the proper fire extinguishing techniques to follow, to remove flammable material from around their homes and lastly to be ready to leave their homes when fire danger is imminent and evacuation is necessary.
The city of Malibu and surrounding areas are a concern for fires, especially on Red Flag days because of the immense amount of brush surrounding the area, according to Dantic.
“For our sake, what we do if we have a Red Flag day [high temperatures and winds] is that we actually have extra staffing on hand, and we have a strike team strategically placed,” he said.
Brush and surrounding land being extra dry led to the state of California announcing a drought state of emergency that has been in place since January 2015, according to the Government of California’s website.
The City of Malibu, alongside the Los Angeles County Waterworks District, has encouraged the community to be diligent about not wasting water, according to the City of Malibu’s website.
Some of these regulations include outdoor watering restrictions, requirements for decorative fountains and even restrictions on restaurants serving water to customers.
The City of Malibu has also implemented a report form that anyone can fill out if they witness water being wasted, intentionally or otherwise.
According to the City of Malibu website, on April 1 Governor Jerry Brown directed the State Water Board to implement restrictions to reduce statewide water usage by 25 percent. Communities with higher per capita water usage were required to reduce by a higher percentage. District 29 of the Los Angeles County Waterworks, which includes Malibu, was required to reduce its usage by 36 percent.
The Los Angeles Fire Department still uses water as their primary method of fire prevention.
A fire engine carries approximately 500 gallons of water, and this amount has not been limited by the California drought.
They also use “super scoopers,” which collect approximately 1,600 gallons of water from lakes and other local sources. They then disperse it from the aircraft onto the fire, according to Dantic.
Junior Ryan Inglehart said he aspires to be a firefighter in his future and reflected on how the recent fires have impacted his decision.
“Growing up in California with the constant threat of wildfires has played a major role in my dream of becoming a firefighter,” he said. “The recent fires throughout California have only served to reinforce this desire.”
President Benton commented on the drought, fire safety and the pros and cons of Pepperdine’s location.
“The beauty of this campus emerges largely from nature and its unpredictable qualities,” he wrote in an email.
Now, he said, the challenge for Pepperdine is responding to the record drought as a leading citizen in the community while simultaneously assuring the safety of the campus.
“We are doing both. We are prepared for fires if they come; indeed, our campus is the safest place in Malibu during times of natural challenge,” he wrote. We have also been managing this campus in an environmentally sound manner, including water conservation, since the 1980s. I must say that I am very impressed with our campus community as it has responded with us and shown great patience as we execute our plans.”
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