The Trancas shopping center, where our indie-ish market, HOWS, and one of our three decidedly non-indie Starbucks reside, was like a high school reunion yesterday. Parking lot jammed with cars, a surging crowd of people comparing notes, telling war stories, socializing.
A common theme came from Charter cable customers, who vowed (often in lively language I blush to repeat) to switch to dish TV and any other phone and internet carriers available. As in the fire last month, Charter's TV, phone and internet service went down almost immediately after the fire began and has yet to be restored.
This (crappy cell phone) photo is from the Trancas Starbucks on Sunday morning, where a long line of fire crews, weary-looking, their clothes and faces smudged with smoke, waited in line for coffee. Several Malibu residents approached the baristas to try to cover the firefighters' bill, and were refused. On the house, that's the Starbucks policy for firefighters. So the would-be benefactors dropped generous tips into the baristas' tip jar instead.
FACTS AND STATS
From the city web site:
As of 8 p.m. last night, canyon residents were allowed back into their neighborhoods. Latigo and Corral canyons in particular were littered with downed power poles and power lines, some of them still live. Crews worked all day to clear the roads.
PCH is now open in both directions, though travel in the Civic Center area my be somewhat limited. Malibu Canyon and Kanan Roads are both open, though lane closures are possible. Be sure to have proof of residency, just in case.
Current tally of damage, according to the Fire Department:
* 51 structures destroyed (49 single family dwellings, 2 outbuildings)
* 27 structures damaged (24 single family dwellings, 3 outbuildings)
* 1 mobile home destroyed
* 8 vehicles destroyed
As for the cause of the fire, the only scenarios in play right now are arson or human accident. Investigators are at work on determining which.