Mandeville Canyon Evacuation Practice Is Successful;

A practice evacuation was held in Mandeville Canyon on May 19 to prevent the issues that happened during the Woolsey Fire last year.                          Photo: Grant Denham

A Similar Evacuation Is Planned for Parts of Palisades

A practice brush fire evacuation was held in Mandeville Canyon on May 19. Fire Station 69 Captain Tom Kitahata said that more than 400 people participated. Paul Revere Middle School was used as an evacuation site.

Kitahata said the evacuation, scheduled for 9 a.m., started with text alerts being sent out, telling residents to evacuate. A 911 reverse call was also used.

Fire officials, using a PA system, then went up and down Mandeville Canyon Road. “A lot of people said they didn’t get the texts,” Kithata said, noting that there are some dead areas in the canyon.

Another issue with the reverse 911 system is that not everyone has kept a landline and has instead switched over to cellphones.

If there is an actual brush fire, texts would go out first, then 911 reverse calls, then the L.A. Police Department would go through with a PA and finally the police would knock on doors.

Kitahata was asked if waiting until someone could actually go up and down the canyon might put people in danger. “We’ll have to do it prior to the fire front,” he said, noting that officials will have to be proactive.

This practice evacuation was important because it allowed fire officials to see what was working, what didn’t and what needed to be changed.

Kitahata was asked about the Highlands, since many people have problems with cell-phone reception in that part of Pacific Palisades.

He said that another evacuation specifically for the Highlands, upper Marquez, Paseo Miramar and Castellammare is in the works as soon as an evacuation center can be located.

To register your cell phone for emergency alert texts through NotifyLA visit: cert-la.com/cert-la-news/alerts/.

 

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