Update, 3:15 p.m.: The virtual Malibu City Council meeting scheduled for Monday night, Oct. 26, has been postponed to Thursday, Nov. 5, due to ongoing widespread power outages across western Malibu. All items that were on the Sept. 26 agenda will be heard on Nov. 5.
Update, 2:37 p.m.: Monday afternoon, Oct. 26, Southern California Edison showed Point Dume was under consideration for a PSPS—an intentional blackout designed to avoid the possibility of a fire due to downed power lines—with the notice backdated to begin at 6 a.m. Monday, although the notice did not appear until Monday afternoon.
As of mid-morning Monday, Southern California Edison spokespeople told The Malibu Times none of the power outages reported in Malibu was due to a PSPS and that Malibu was not under consideration for a power shut-off. However, according to the map, the shut-off had been under consideration beginning at 6 a.m.
The map indicates SCE customers in the Cuthbert Circuit, encompassing most of Point Dume, Ramirez Canyon, Corral Canyon and Winding Way, were under consideration for a PSPS from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday as part of SCE's "public safety power shut-off" intentional blackout program.
It was therefore unclear whether the approximately 2,300 customers without power in western Malibu were due to a PSPS or an outage due to wind or another weather issue.
Update, 1:52 p.m.: In addition to previously-announced closures of Charmlee Wilderness Park and Topanga Canyon Park, the City of Malibu announced the temporary skate park at Malibu Bluffs Park was closed on Monday, Oct. 26, due to strong wind gusts during a Red Flag warning.
Solstice Canyon, a popular hiking trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, was also closed Monday afternoon "until further notice" due to the wind.
The City of Malibu Public Works Department was also responding to reports of a tree down across a power line on Serra Road, approximately one mile north of Pacific Coast Highway.
Update, 11:37 a.m.: The Los Angeles County Fire Department quickly knocked down a 1/4-acre brush fire reported burning in the Topanga Canyon area on Monday morning, Oct. 26.
LACoFD Spokesperson Henry Narvaez described the intensity of the efforts by the fire department, which had bolstered staffing due to the Red Flag conditions in Southern California.
"We were able to jump on it real quick," Narvaez said. "We have a lot of extra resources out today. The first on-scene engine saw that it was about a quarter-acre in light fuels, majority of the area that was burning was dry small grassy areas and it was moving slowly."
Narvaez said that as of 11:37 a.m., there was no longer any threat from the fire.
"No structures threatened, no threat of fire advancing," the spokesperson explained. "They’ve gotten to the head of the fire—the fire can’t spread anymore."
Thousands of Malibu residents were without power Monday morning, Oct. 26, amid strong Santa Ana winds during what the National Weather Service described as the worst fire conditions Southern California has faced since October 2019.
A total of 984 customers in the Corral Canyon area and 2,332 customers in Point Dume were without power as of 11:15 a.m. Monday, along with traffic signals along Pacific Coast Highway at Corral, Zumirez and Heathercliff roads.
"The outages in Malibu are not related to public safety power shutoff,” Southern California Edison (SCE) spokesperson Chris Abel said Monday, later adding, “Malibu is not under consideration for PSPS right now."
Abel was not able to share what caused the outages nor did he offer an estimate for when service would be restored.
Some residents in the Malibu Colony also reported power was out, although SCE did not confirm whether there was a widespread outage to that area.
Trees were reported knocked down by the high winds, including a tree blocking Cuthbert Road near Harvester in Malibu Park and a tree down in the 6700 block of Dume Drive on Point Dume.
Red Flag conditions were expected to continue in Malibu through the afternoon and evening Monday and into Tuesday morning, Oct. 27.
An update from the National Weather Service Twitter account "at the 11 a.m. hour," showed a map of Red Flag Conditions in the LA County area:
At the 11 am hour, numerous weather stations showing Red Flag conditions across LA/Ventura counties, depicted in red. The yellow stations are approaching Red Flag conditions. #LAWeather #LAwind #cawx pic.twitter.com/yJwHEcfQ4t— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 26, 2020
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.