The Malibu Emergency Task Force Report, authorized by the County Board of Supervisors in response to the Dayton Canyon Fire of October 9, 1982, was held up because the County Fire Chief found the initial report “offensive” because it implied criticism of his department. “The report, if anything, still emphasizes the unimaginative, flat-footed, and entrenched thinking inherent in local government. The public deserves better (or better public servants) than this.”
Fire patterns from 1919-1985 are analyzed in the Santa Monica Mountains. They indicate a cyclic pattern of large scale fires along with higher fire frequencies within the Coastal Sage Scrub.
The article reviews the NFES-NPS joint publication “Living in the Chaparral of S. California” that highlights articles by 16 leading public safety professionals and states that is “a goldmine of facts and information”.
NFES has published Living in the Chaparral of Southern California, proceedings of a conference and public workshop sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Foundation for Environmental Safety. The book focuses on how to live safely in the chaparral environment that encompasses the National Park Service's (NPS) Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
The Los Angeles Times reports how K. Radtke leads a car-caravan tour of homeowners through the Santa Monica Mountains to teach them how to save their homes in preparation for the fire season and what was learned from it.
In response to the November 2, 1993 Old Topanga Fire, K. Radtke stresses that his research indicates that Malibu will face fire in one location or another every 7 to 10 years and that there is no substitute for preparedness and education to reduce fire losses.
NFES, in reviewing the design-for-disaster Old Topanga Fire of November 2-11, 1993, states that the local Fire Department was again ill-prepared for fighting such a predictable wildland fire. In conjunction with effective public safety standards and public safety education that includes trained and knowledgeable community firefighters/residents (and not just panic, fear, confusion and mass evacuation), over 75% of the property losses could have been prevented.
K. Radtke, a vocal critic of how most local governments "rationalize away disasters and, with public assistance, create another design-for-disaster,” stresses in a letter to the City Council that “man-made calamities should not be continuously confused with “Acts of God.”
An “Entrapment Report” concludes that supervisors inexperienced in wildland fire fighting put firefighters in harm’s way that caused injuries to ten of them during the Calabasas Fire of October 21-22, 1986.
Fires over 100 acres as mapped by civilian map makers working for the Los Angeles County Forester and Fire Warden (Fire Department) and data provided by the U.S. Forest Service were combined by K. Radtke to produce such a Fire Frequency map.