An online petition started by concerned Corral Canyon residents to ban overnight camping in the fire sensitive areas of Malibu reached 1,000 signatures this week.
The petition, which was created by the Corral Canyon Fire Safety Alliance, was posted on change.org in the wake of plans by Joe Edmiston, executive director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC), to put overnight camping in Charmlee Wilderness Park and Ramirez Canyon in Malibu.
As of Tuesday, 1,003 people had signed the online petition. Malibu residents have been canvasing shopping centers in Malibu, Agoura, Calabasas, Pacific Palisades and Topanga to get even more signatures.
“The residents of Malibu are most interested in doing whatever it takes to minimize the risk of more fires,” Malibu resident Lori Jacobus said. “Fires are going to happen naturally, we get that and we accept it – but there’s no reason to knowingly and further risk public safety.”
"For any group to allow camping in known high-risk fire areas would be irresponsible from both a civic and a liability position," the petition states. A fire in Corral Canyon in 2007 destroyed 53 homes.
At a January SMMC board meeting, Edmiston said the conservancy dropped its plans for camping at Bluffs Park because of a pending land swap with the city of Malibu, but still has plans on the back burner for Corral Canyon and other parts of Malibu.
The petition is addressed to the SMMC and the city of Malibu. The board of directors for the SMMC and the Malibu City Council have both voted to further persue negotiations for a land swap of Charmlee Wilderness Park for Bluff's Park.
Read the full petition and learn more at http://www.change.org.