I can’t tell you how it started, or even where or when. I will not be the most informed person that you will find regarding the fire currently invading the city of Malibu. I can tell you, though, what it felt like trying to get out of there Friday morning, and what it looked like. A little over three years ago, I moved into a van and started driving around the country for a project I was calling Connected States. On Thursday night, I was parked at friend’s property in southern Malibu, about a mile up a canyon. I woke up at 8am Friday morning for a physical therapy appointment 5 miles north on the Pacific Coast Highway (aka the PCH). I realized that I didn’t have any reception, but that isn’t totally unusual for the area. The winds had been extreme all night, and I figured a tree had taken out some power-lines. When I got down to the PCH at about 8:20am, I saw that traffic was bumper-to-bumper heading south. It’s LA, so traffic is par for the course, but this was much worse than usual. I figured a tree must have fallen on the highway, too. I started heading north, and finally my phone got back online, and I saw a text from my mom saying, “Please tell me that you have evacuated to somewhere safe!!” That’s when I realized that something was very wrong, and it was a whole lot worse than a downed power-line. I… [Read full story]
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