Many of us have lived in the Malibu-Topanga area long enough to have experienced the fire of November 1993. That fire burned for 10 days from the top of Old Topanga Canyon to the coast in Malibu destroying over 300 homes, scorching thousands of acres, and taking the lives of three people. However, if that was not bad enough, in November of 2018 the Woolsey fire burned through Malibu in just three days starting from the northern reaches of the San Fernando Valley and destroying over 1600 structures, scorching 97,000 acres, and again taking the lives of three people. As you read about wildfires throughout California and the west you may think you are safe and well protected, but if you were here in November 1993 or November 2018 you know you are under constant threat of devastating wildfires.
Under the direction and supervision of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Arson Watch volunteers from Malibu, Topanga, Agoura Hills and Calabasas patrol over 185 square miles of the Santa Monica Mountains during periods of extreme fire weather conditions. Each volunteer is issued an official ID, two-way radio, safety vest, shirt, hat, and vehicle identification signs. Volunteers are provided training in what to look for when patrolling and how to communicate via two-way radio during patrols.
FAWDS • Friends of Arson Watch and Disaster Services • P.O. Box 197, Topanga, California 90290 firstname.lastname@example.org