Malibu Fires

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About the Malibu Fires -

Malibu Fires

Human beings are able to adapt to almost any environment, unfortunately

sometimes we take advantage of our natural surroundings. We find ourselves amidst a

struggle between our lifestyles and nature. Although we affect nature profoundly with

our activities, we in turn are shaped by nature's potent forces. Nature can be brutal to

humans, but we must remember that it merely is following its course. As a result, we

must learn to coexist with it. Fire is a naturally occurring phenomenon which humans

have learned to deal with throughout history. Yet when fire burns uncontrollably, there is

great potential for monumental damage to all surrounding biomass. The Malibu

wildfires are an example of one such instance.

Historically, wildfires had been left to burn uncontrolled for weeks. Fires were

caused by different sources such as lightning or human hunters who wanted to chase

animals out of the woods.

As prolonged as these fires were, they had limited catastrophic

effects on the nomadic humans. This is due to the low population density and the fact

that the fires were not very intense. As people began to change from a hunting-gathering

society to agriculturists, they settled in communities. Homes built among the wild brush

were perfect prey to wildfires. Initially, wildfires were put out immediately and people

were barred from setting fires in open spaces. Due to the policy of fire suppression, only

one percent of all wildfires escaped early control. The land was safe from fires

temporarily, but this set the stage for catastrophe as the brush grew more dense.

There have been more than 20 catastrophic wildfires in Los Angeles County since

the beginning of organized fire protection. The first 'big one' happened in December of

1927. The fire started in the La Crescenta Valley,