Woolsey Fire update: 100 percent contained

LBFD spokesperson confirms 3 firefighter injuries and 3 civilian deaths, authorities facilitating re-population efforts

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Photo courtesy Long Beach County Newsroom

Jacob Heflin, Long Beach Fire Department public-information officer, told the Signal Tribune that the Woolsey Fire, which began on Nov. 8, had been 100 percent contained as of Nov. 22. Emergency units have shifted their attention from combating the flames to helping civilians, who were evacuated when the flames first erupted, get back to what is left of their homes. Heflin said that 1,100 residents still need to get back to their properties.

Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Public Information Officer Jacob Heflin confirmed with the Signal Tribune that the Woolsey Fire, which burned in the Thousand Oaks area, has been 100 percent contained as of Nov. 22.

Since early November, Californians have had to survive some of the deadliest wildfires in the state’s modern history. Camp Fire, one of the fires located in northern California, raged throughout the city of Paradise, killing hundreds and almost wiping out the city, as reported by media outlets.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Sheila Kuehl announced in a press release Nov. 22 an “unwavering” support for those affected by the fires.

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“Our hearts have been broken by this historic disaster, but our spirits have not,” Kuehl states in the press release. “We are immensely grateful to our first responders, because without their life-saving actions, the toll would have been far worse. The County stands ready to assist, in every way possible, those who have been affected. On behalf of the County of Los Angeles, we thank you for your patience, for your courage and for your resilience.”

During a phone interview Nov. 23 with the Signal Tribune, Heflin said that the Woolsey Fire burned 96,949 acres.

Heflin was sent to Malibu, following a request for more regional public-information officers by other emergency agencies, to assist with the aftermath of the fires.

With the fire contained, he said emergency units are now assisting displaced residents, who may have had their homes damaged or completely destroyed in the fire, return to their neighborhoods.

Heflin provided the Signal Tribune with a Woolsey Fire fact sheet that had the following information:

  • The fire nearly burned 97,000 acres
  • 100 percent of the fire is contained
  • Three civilians were killed
  • Three firefighters were injured
  • 1,643 structures destroyed
  • 364 structures damaged

Heflin said that all focus has been shifted from combating the flames to getting residents back to their homes.
“As the fire in other cities resided, and we got more containment, we started to repopulate the areas that had been evacuated from the incident,” Heflin said. “Part of my responsibility was working with all the various stakeholders that had a role in that– whether that was utility companies, law enforcement or fire.”

Courtesy Long Beach County Newsroom
Jacob Heflin, Long Beach Fire Department public-information officer, told the Signal Tribune that the Woolsey Fire, which began on Nov. 8, had been 100 percent contained as of Nov. 22. Emergency units have shifted their attention from combating the flames to helping civilians, who were evacuated when the flames first erupted, get back to what is left of their homes. Heflin said that 1,100 residents still need to get back to their properties.

According to the fact sheet, crews will be providing assistance to approximately 1,100 residents.

The Conrad L. Hilton Foundation, located in Agoura Hills, and the Malibu Courthouse are the two help centers where officials are helping residents.

“Those places are like a one-stop shop for people who have to go and get those support services that, really, you don’t think about,” Heflin said. “If you lost your home, you lost your driver’s license, your social security card and all these different things you might take for granted– restore your utilities. All these different things still need to be addressed.”

As re-population campaigns proceed through the coming months, a safety hazard residents are still exposed to is mudslides, according to Heflin.

“We look at this as a risk moving forward,” he said. “That’s certainly something that is being addressed here at base camp at Malibu bluffs.”

On Nov. 23, light rain fell upon Malibu and where the Woolsey Fire burned. Heflin said that there were some falling rocks because of the rain, but he said that it wasn’t a worrying concern.

“That was a relatively minor light storm going through the area,” he said. “The concern is for something much more significant, to where we really would have some potential issues here.”

Courtesy Long Beach County Newsroom
Jacob Heflin, Long Beach Fire Department public-information officer, told the Signal Tribune that the Woolsey Fire, which began on Nov. 8, had been 100 percent contained as of Nov. 22. Emergency units have shifted their attention from combating the flames to helping civilians, who were evacuated when the flames first erupted, get back to what is left of their homes. Heflin said that 1,100 residents still need to get back to their properties.

The fact sheet also states that a burn assessment of the impacted area has been completed, and unified command personnel have prepared a contingency plan for the mudslides and debris flows. The cause of the fires is still under investigation, according to the fact sheet.

“We know it’s been a really emotional time for a lot of people, and we really appreciate the patience that everyone has had,” Heflin said. “I know everyone wants to get back either, A: to their homes, or, B: to start sifting through rubble and their belongings.”

Courtesy Long Beach County Newsroom
Jacob Heflin, Long Beach Fire Department public-information officer, told the Signal Tribune that the Woolsey Fire, which began on Nov. 8, had been 100 percent contained as of Nov. 22. Emergency units have shifted their attention from combating the flames to helping civilians, who were evacuated when the flames first erupted, get back to what is left of their homes. Heflin said that 1,100 residents still need to get back to their properties.