"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"


The recent fire off Chartres (Shart, like the French city, not Chart-ress as the media mis-pronounced it) Drive near Hawthorne and Crest reminded me that there has never really be a serious fire in PV, at least that I can recall in the last 64 years.  This one was between 15 and 20 acres and, as with all the previous ones, burned no homes.  If you just watch it on TV, of course, the news media does all they can to make it look like the entire Hill is turning to ash.  They zoom is so that a 10 x 10 area, with no scale reference, looks like 300 acres.

The most serious recent fire was in 2009 in Portuguese Bend which burned something like 75 acres and apparently destroyed an out-building at one home, but that’s the biggest fire I can ever remember in PV.  Compare this to the Laguna Beach fire of 1993 that burned 17,000 acres and 336 homes.   Fires and rain-related disasters are so common in Malibu

2007 Malibu Fire

that any you want to pick were bigger than anything that’s ever happened in Palos Verdes.   The only really big disaster we’ve had in Palos Verdes is the Landslide beginning in 1955, which I discuss elsewhere under “Things You Always Wondered About Palos Verdes” , and which is still ongoing.

I’ve always theorized that the reason we never have any significant fires, on the scale of Malibu, Bel Air, Laguna, etc, is that we simply don’t have the big open canyons that allow a fire to really get going.  To us, 20 acres is a big fire; in Malibu, it would hardly be noticed.  Here is a link to a map of all the Southern California fires from 1875 thru 2005.

So add freedom from fires to the reasons you live in Palos Verdes.

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