Malibu's evacuee update meeting at Santa Monica High School on Tuesday began with a moment of silence for the Borderline shooting victims, the two victims killed in their car during the fire, and those lost in the Camp Fire.
"This is a very, very challenging time for our city. We've been part of the largest fire and disaster in the County of Los Angeles. This is worse than all the fires we've seen in Malibu," began Reva Feldman, city manager of Malibu. The audience gave a standing ovation for the first responders.
The meeting addressed the displacement evacuees currently face and provided updates on the situation in Malibu. Residents questioned when they would be allowed back to their homes. Skylar Peak, former Malibu mayor responded to the shouting by saying, "You're going to be allowed back into your house when it's safe to go there, and until it's deemed safe, you're not going to be allowed back."
Some attending the meeting were upset that Pepperdine University did not evacuate. However, the university gave students the option to evacuate or stay, in accordance with the shelter-in-place policy.
Pepperdine senior, Kalley Foster, made the decision to stay on campus. "I think I wanted to be surrounded by the community," said Foster in an interview with Annenberg Media earlier this week. "The Pepperdine faculty took care of us and prioritized our safety."
The fires have affected many, including city officials. The mayor of Malibu is a captain in the Los Angeles Fire Department and has been on duty through all the fires. The mayor pro tem was also injured in the fire and was treated in the ICU for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Local, county, state and federal governments have already begun working together to ensure a smooth transition back to their homes. Jeff Reeb, Director of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, explained that there will be two assistance centers opening for evacuees.
One center will be set up by the Department of Public Works so people can start pulling permits and rebuilding. The second center will be a one-stop shop to bring multiple government agencies in a common space to expedite re-establishment of utilities, reassess property taxes, connect with the DMV and more.
The full recording of this meeting can be found online here.