After following the Woolsey fire listening sessions, what I find the most illuminating is hearing what Malibu experienced since someday that will be Topanga. It is sobering to hear that, even when firefighting teams were on site, due to the top-down command structure, they could not fight fires blazing away on homes even as residents begged them.
In the two recent listening sessions and last month’s meeting in Malibu, I have heard the phrase, “We don’t have any orders,” so many times it makes me ill. Where is common sense? We trust firefighters to drive a truck, but not to battle a fire when they see it? I do not blame the firefighters for following orders, but something has to change in that current brain-dead-top-down model.
Sheila Kuehl can be a part of that change if she’s convinced.