Photos of the fire damage from my trip to Malibu

Arriving at night, it was the smell I picked up first.

December 6, 2018

by Gregr


It's hard not to feel badly for the people and animals of the recent California wildfires, but I had no idea that on a recent trip I would be staying literally across the street from the damage. The majority of the most devastating scenes happened in the Paradise fires further north, but in Malibu, the brush covered hills went up in flames shaving the landscape like a razor blade across a stubbly bald head. 

Just weeks before, this hill played home to the paintbrush like dry desert plants common in an arid environment like this. It felt odd as there was an absence of obvious fire damage. You have to look closely at the blackened twigs of small tree like plants that speck the hill side some meters apart just to really notice. It felt more like a Martian scape than anything. Further down the hill in the photo below, you can see how quickly this fire moved sparing the homes and green landscapes.

My buddy Ed took me down to the beach - because California - but he told me that last time he came down it was covered in the wildlife that had fled the burning hills and had to coexist here. On our way to the parking area at Point Dume, a peak up to the top of the hill revealed the charred remains of someone's home now reduced to just a few posts, a fire place, and lots of ash.

We didn't see many burned structures, but the hotel we stayed at in nearby Agoura Hills was booked solid from the people whose homes had been damaged. We saw kids using the dining room to do homework and people with dogs everywhere in a facility that normally doesn't allow pets.

Rain fell the day before I arrived and with it came the eerie smell of campfire throughout the region. Despite seeing some stunning wealth, it's hard not to feel for the people who lost their homes and memories.

In a plus, at least the fire fighters of the region got fed by the awesomeness of Dave Grohl: