Nearly 500,000 people visited Malibu’s beaches during the holiday weekend. While many celebrated Independence Day at the beach on July 4, California was struck with a 6.4 magnitude earthquake—followed by an even stronger, 7.1 magnitude quake the following day.
That earthquake occurred in Ridgecrest, Calif. at 8:19 p.m. and was felt as far as north as Sacramento and as far east as Las Vegas. The earthquake did not impact Malibu; however, officials remind the community to be prepared and have an emergency plan ready for their families.
Malibu Search and Rescue Captain David Katz said there were no rescues to report on July 4; however, the team did receive calls on July 2 and 5 for hiker-related incidents in Escondido Falls.
Ocean lifeguard specialist Marco Rodriguez said that on the long weekend, from July 4-7, there were 40,000 visitors at Surfrider Beach. There were 241,000 on Point Dume and 211,000 at Zuma Beach—a total of 492,000 over the holiday weekend. There were around the same number of visitors who made it out to Malibu beaches in 2018—this year, Malibu hosted 4,000 more visitors than last year.
On July 4, the surf report was waist to shoulder high with water temperature between 62 and 68 degrees—conditions were “poor to fair,” according to LA County Lifeguard reports at the time.
The Los Angeles Fire Department shared an overview of the holiday weekend on social media, encompassing all of Los Angeles County: from July 4 through the 7th, there were 368 rescues, 639 medical aids, 59,054 preventative actions and 82 missing persons reported.
Zuma Beach authorities said there were 50 rescues on July 4, with no injuries reported.
Weather over the weekend was mostly cool with an average temperature of 74/60 on July 4 and 76 degrees on Friday and Saturday, ending with a 74 degrees on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Fire Department issued permits for fireworks on July 4 at Paradise Cove and Malibu Colony. The city issued permits for two private events on Malibu Road, however the city did not issue any permits for a parade on Point Dume on July 4—though that didn’t stop locals from holding an unofficial Point Dume Parade that day.
The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s station was able to offer no special reports of incidents from the holiday weekend.
There was a small brush fire on Bell Canyon on July 4, near the footprint of last November’s Woolsey Fire. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations Section reported its firehawk helicopter assisted the Ventura County Fire Department and Los Angeles City Fire Department in battling the blaze, which was eventually knocked down after it reached three acres, according to reports from LA County Fire social media.
The National Weather Service released a coastal hazard message for LA County beaches over the holiday weekend. The report issued a beach hazards statement for elevated surf and strong rip currents. They tweeted: “Always swim and surf in front of an open lifeguard tower.”
The weekend ended with the water temperature between 64 and 69 degrees on Sunday and waist to stomach surfing conditions on Sunday, July 7.