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The location of this year’s Dolphin Awards cannot accommodate the vast number of local heroes being honored. These Woolsey Fire heroes will be recognized by the Dolphin Foundation at an event being planned for later in the spring. More information on that special event is forthcoming.

This year, the Malibu Dolphin Foundation honors the local heroes who defied evacuation orders to stay and fight fires in their neighborhoods, protecting homes and property at great personal risk. Some neighborhoods organized brigades to fight the fire, while in other neighborhoods, firefighting efforts were largely independent.

It’s hard to say exactly how many houses were saved by their efforts, but based on their stories, it could be dozens or more. Heroes of the Woolsey Fire also include those who rescued horses and other animals from the fire at great personal risk—many were animals whose owners had evacuated.

In addition, we salute those who defied the roadblocks and risked arrest to bring badly needed food, water and supplies to Malibu residents by boat and surfboard, as well as those who drove supplies over land on treacherous, still-smoldering back roads.

The Dolphin Foundation has established an honor scroll listing the names of these heroes, which will be presented at the Dolphin Awards Ceremony and accepted by City Council Member Mikke Pierson—who himself is one of the heroes. 

“I’m very honored to be asked to accept this award on behalf of so many true Malibu heroes,” Pierson wrote. “There has always been a segment of the people that live in Malibu that are very resilient. They take care of themselves and their neighbors. Their natural inclination is to defend and preserve the rural charm of the Malibu they grew up in, including when a fire tries to burn it down. I’ve noticed that many of these heroes never even considered leaving and I suspect they never will. With that said, being prepared and knowing what to do in an emergency is important, as the danger is real. They are the very definition of local heroes.”

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