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After the devastating Woolsey Fire, local MalibuVWbus heads back into Malibu:
It took out everything in its path...

Lifeguard Tower.

Leo Carrillo.

Burned VW on the side of PCH with a completely burned background.

That lucky gem in the background was the only thing besides the fence next to it that didn’t burn on this block. It still sustained heavy heat and smoke damage. The windshield melted to the dashboard.... You can also see the outline of the other Porsche in the garage with the garage roof covering it’s burned chassis. As for the Chevy, it didn’t do so well.

Burned house and VW style buggy.

Here is my mom and her house that was demolished by the fire. The cross she is holding was on her wall and survived the fire. This is a miniature version of the cross that Jon Krawczyk made. The big version he made sits across the street from the 911 memorial museum in New York City. Jon and his wife Dee Dee also lost their house which was right next to my moms house.

Eerie Scene.

Bummer. Looks like it was on the top of a lift in the garage and dropped onto another car below it.... There is another one sitting out front that survived. Not sure how bad it is though... The fire was so hot that it melted the windshield to the dashboad. It looks like it’s the only thing on the property that survived besides the fence next to it. We shut off the neighbors water meter that was still on and spraying water everywhere.

If you're on Instagram you can follow @MalibuVWbus to see more of his photos.

As we learned from the Thomas Fire in 2017 and subsequent mudslides, there will likely be severe ocean water quality issues once it rains and the question that many of us will be asking ourselves is when will it be safe to go in the ocean?

Until the Pacific Coast Highway is fully open, be sure to observe evacuation notices and road closures so that fire crews and first responders can do their jobs unabated. As of November 15th, there is one water quality warning in the fire area at Surfrider Beach Malibu Lagoon that bacteria levels exceed state standards according to Los Angeles County Public Health and the unhealthy air quality in some areas is starting to improve.

While most of Los Angeles County suffers from urban runoff every time it rains more than 0.1 inch, Malibu, especially western Malibu, is much less developed than the rest of Los Angeles. As such, this area typically does not see as much of the traditional urban runoff from streets and sidewalks that leads to high levels of bacteria in the ocean, but due to the ongoing fires, close attention to water quality should be paid in the coming months.

The water quality impacts will be correlated to how much rain falls and the extent to which mudslides occur near the ocean or coastal waterways, as these factors determine the level of stormwater runoff. This runoff can bring high levels of nutrients, pesticides and animal waste from agricultural areas; debris from compromised buildings and developments that could include heavy metals and household chemicals; sewage or untreated wastewater from damaged infrastructure; and more to county beaches and coastal waters. People should follow Los Angeles County Public Health for general advisories and water quality results. Their webpage is available here:

Water quality tests are typically delayed two days because of the time needed to process samples. The general advisory for most of Southern California is that once it rains more than 0.1 inch, people should stay out of the water for at least 72 hours. If you can see brown water from runoff, that's a sign to stay out of the water because bacteria levels are likely very high.

A good rule of thumb for surfers and ocean lovers is 'if you are in doubt, don't go out'.

Report: Bill Hickman
Photo: Graham Hamilton
Congratulations to Malibu's Francesca Seely , the National Scholastic Surfing Association Womens winner from the College event 1 at Blacks!

The Southern California fires have been devastating , A lot of my friends have lost their homes and my family has evacuated to a fiends place... Lot of love to my strong community 💝please help donate. Thank you to the firefighters and veterans ❤️

As the Woolsey fire continued to burn, Bill Kerbox got a call Monday night from his friend. His 142-foot yacht, the Leight Star, was ready to be deployed. It boasts a helipad and plenty of space. The mission needed only one thing: volunteers and supplies to deliver to victims of the roughly 96,000-acre fire who had stayed behind.

Kerbox blasted out the call for help on social media. It didn’t take long for people, including those desperate to get back to their Malibu homes, to step (or paddle) forward.

Surfers showed up to meet the yacht at sea and bring the supplies to Malibu’s Paradise Cove.

“There’s been so much confusion,” Kerbox told the volunteers Tuesday as they began their journey. “We need to get out on social media that supplies are going to start be unloaded in a little over an hour.”

Standing behind a fully stocked wet bar, Kerbox contemplated what hashtag to use to notify people of their efforts. They agreed upon #malibuhope.

The yacht belongs to Howard Leight, a billionaire entrepreneur who owns the Malibu Rocky Oaks winery with his son. His boat is worth tens of millions of dollars. He spent Friday and Saturday fending off blazes at the winery and his other property in L.A. The fire destroyed much of his vineyard.

“All I could think about is that I didn’t want to lose my houses,” Leight said as he stood on the right side.

When he was done, he felt it was time to give back.

Kerbox estimated the boat was stocked with about 3,000 bottles of water, 100 gallons of fuel, shovels, snacks, dog food — and a bunch of beer.

Smaller boats were tied behind the yacht to help offload supplies. Among those who joined the brigade were Jerardo Bautista and his five-person landscaping crew. Since 1985, Bautista has been doing landscaping at some of Malibu’s most luxurious homes.

Bautista’s crew spent Friday going from home to home cutting back brush and putting out fires.

When the Leight Star neared the Paradise Cove coast, surfers and kayakers paddled toward the boat. Like a bucket brigade, they moved supplies from the yacht to their boards and kayaks, braving choppy waters, before going to shore.

Three small tenders were filled with garbage bags full of dry goods as a crew in a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department boat watched.

“If we’re not letting people in by land, we’re not letting them in by sea,” a deputy said.

At one point a woman boarded a kayak and made a mad dash for land. She was cut off by law enforcement authorities and forced back on the yacht.

But eventually all the supplies from the yacht made it to land. That provoked cheers and selfies as people celebrated on the yacht with beer and wine.

But Bautista was nowhere to be found. He had sneaked off the boat and was heading to help people with their homes.

Story By Benjamin Oreskes
Photos: Jay L. Clendenin
The flyer for this year's Venice Surf-A-Thon is out. Here it is:

Through Thursday, November 15th: Modest to locally fun, but steep angled, S swell peaks Tue-Wed. Clean conditions with offshore flow, especially in the mornings.

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As firefighters race to control the Woolsey Fire, mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for Malibu to West Hills in the San Fernando Valley.

The Woolsey Fire is still burning in spots on both sides of the 101 freeway. It has torched hillsides and coastline across 83,275 acres of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and destroyed more than 170 buildings in the beaches, canyons, and Valley. Containment stands at 10 percent.

On Sunday, firefighters extinguished flare-ups and kept a hold on the fire’s perimeter, stopping it from spreading south into communities like Pacific Palisades, said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. He noted that there were no new reports of homes burning down.

“Today was a better day,” he said.

But, Osby cautioned: “We’re not out of the woods tonight.”

Powerful Santa Ana winds are forecasted to kick up again later tonight, posing a major threat. Wind gusts can easily fan embers and ignite dry brush.

None of the mandatory evacuation orders issued for the Woolsey Fire since Friday have been lifted in LA County, and approximately 57,000 structures in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are still at risk.

The evacuation orders affect multiple communities, including Topanga, where many residents have opted to shelter in place, as well as the entire city of Malibu, which City Councilmember Lou La Monte has said was “hit very, very hard.”

Authorities continue to urge Topanga residents who have remained in their homes to “leave immediately.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is also warning residents in evacuation zones to resist the urge to return home. Even in areas where flames are no longer active, there are downed power lines and trees, smoldering embers that could reignite, limited to no cell service, and dangerous air quality.

“We ask people: Do not go back to those areas,” says Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department chief John Benedict. “Quite frankly, it’s still not safe.”

Since blowing south from Ventura County over the 101 freeway into Los Angeles early Friday morning, unleashing a barrage of flames on Malibu and neighboring communities, the Woolsey Fire has has destroyed 177 structures.

But assessment teams are still surveying the damage, and that number is expected to increase.

La Monte estimates the blaze has ruined “dozens and dozens of homes” in Malibu alone; it has wreaked havoc on Malibu West, Point Dume, Zuma Canyon, and Malibu Lake.

But the south side of Malibu, as well as Topanga and Pacific Palisades have not burned—and authorities are telling residents of those communities to be prepared to leave.

“We are trying to contain the fires north of those communities,” says Osby. But “if you see smoke coming your way, don’t wait for the evacuation [order] to leave.”

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