Mikke Pierson in The Face of Woolsey Fires

1. Tell us your Malibu experience from Day 1 growing up here.

Malibu was a town filled with ranch houses, horse ranches, movie stars and the surfing was crowded even back when I was a kid. The Malibu I grew up in was a bit simpler than it is now, just like the rest of the world. There wasn’t as many rules and people more or less did what they wanted, as long as they didn’t bother other people. I spend most of my childhood living on the beach by Encinal. Me and the neighborhood kids often rode our bikes to school along Broadbeach and PCH. We surfed and rode mini bikes up in the hills. We hiked and rode horses. A big night out was going to The Old Place. And a big shopping day with mom involved driving into Santa Monica as Kanan Road and the valley cities really didn’t exist yet. We went to high school at Santa Monica High as Malibu High didn’t exist yet either.

2. How did you save so many homes during the fires?

Myself and the other people that stayed fought the fire as it entered Malibu West from Trancas Canyon. There was so few of us that we eventually split up and we each defended homes as best we could. I think the key to saving so many homes is that we prevented the homes at the top of Malibu West from catching fire. I believe that if they had caught fire or we hadn’t been there all the homes below them would have burned as well. Ultimately, we saved homes because we had fire equipment and we knew enough about fire to know what we needed to do.

3. What advice would you give to Malibu residents to plan in advance?

Have you evacuation plan figured out in detail from this day forward. Know what you are going to take and that you can pack it quickly. Have a meeting point figured out if you lose communication. Keep enough gas in your cars at all times. Have a plan for you pets, especially if you have horses. Have a neighborhood plan. Make sure all residents that might need help are accounted for. If you think you might stay, get training and have the right equipment, and also know when to evacuate if conditions are too dangerous. Have a plan with your neighbors as well.


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