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Staff Report
7:30 pm PDT October 29, 2019

With “a severe wind event with extremely hazardous fire conditions” expected Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Malibu schools will not be in session, the district announced this evening.

“We do not take this decision lightly,” states an email from the district, attributed to Superintendent Ben Drati. “We understand that this is disruptive to the continuity of education, and presents a challenge for parents regarding child care.

It has not yet been decided if school will be back in session on Thursday.

“We have heard concerns from parents and their preference to keep their families together under these challenging and unpredictable conditions.”

The National Weather Service has issued an extreme red flag warning and high wind warning from 11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, through 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. Peak conditions are expected Wednesday, and conditions may continue through Friday.

Malibu residents have been urged to prepare for both scheduled and unscheduled power outages as well as possible evacuations. 

Southern California Edison may implement a Public Safety Power Outage between 6 p.m.-midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 30, for the Galahad Circuit (approximately the western edge of Point Dume to Point Mugu and 2-4 miles inland), the City states.

Arson Watch and Fire Watch have been activated, and Malibu is prepared to activate an Emergency Operations Center if needed, according to the City’s alert from Tuesday afternoon. LA County Fire and Sheriff’s departments also are to have augmented staffing in place for Malibu, Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains area.

As of Tuesday evening, Topanga Canyon Boulevard was expected to have soft closure checkpoints, with the roadway being open to residents only.