Arson Watch


    FAWDS • Friends of Arson Watch and Disaster Services • P.O. Box 197, Topanga, California 90290

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. 

Watch this excellent Los Angeles Times documentary, Fires in the Wind, of the 1993 Old Topanga Fire. It is still relevant today in that the ‘93 fire is eerily similar to the recent Woolsey fire of 2018. This video will clearly educate you on the reality of the danger, terror, and destruction these fires present. 

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.