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Malibu residents take firefighting into their own hands

April 9, 2009 | 12:55 pm

                                                                                                            A fire truck races to a brush fire near the edge of Malibu Creek State Park. Malibu residents are trying to establish a system of pre-approved firebreaks that would help to control fires. Credit: Al Seib / LA Times

Malibu residents have long had to deal with brush fires -- and last year there were several particularly destructive ones. Now, a group of residents is pushing forward with its own plan, which is designed to get water and firefighting resources into canyon areas before flames reach homes. More from The Malibu  Times:

They developed a plan, called the First Fire Defense System; instead of
cutting firebreaks or gaps in vegetation to help curb and fight a fire while it is burning, pre-positioned firebreaks would be cut at key hot spots before a blaze starts. Six new water tanks would then feed 84 miles of six- to eight-inch underground water mains that feed fire hydrants every 600 feet, providing 50 square miles of defense on ridgelines where fire can be controlled, explained Carl Schurtz, the organization's executive director. The six tanks would hold 9.5 million gallons of water for firefighting purposes only, which, Schurtz said, would be the equivalent to one and half days of water for Malibu.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: A fire truck races to a brush fire near the edge of Malibu Creek State Park. Malibu residents are trying to establish a system of pre-approved firebreaks that would help to control fires. Credit: Al Seib / LA Times

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