Inmates Can Fight Fires in Malibu; They Just Can't Live There

A preliminary plan has some Malibu residents furious.

A campaign is under way in Malibu to keep prison inmate firefighters from living in a local fire station.

The prisoners need a new home after the Station Fire destroyed their camp in the Angeles National Forest. Los Angeles County Fire Department officials are looking at the Malibu facility as a temporary replacement, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Malibu is considered one of the county's highest-risk fire areas. But some residents don't like the idea of having inmates living in their neighborhood.

Actor Joshua Malina, who lives a quarter-mile from the site, said neighbors have been buzzing about the plans since Friday, when they received an anonymous flier with the headline "No Prison in Our Neighborhood" and urged them to immediately contact their elected representatives.

"If we shouldn't be worried, tell us what's going on" Malina told the newspaper. "In a vacuum, of course, people are going to consider the worst-case scenario."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told the Times Monday that plans were "very much in the preliminary stage"-- so much so that he had not yet received a recommendation on it from County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman. He also emphasized that no plan would go forward without soliciting the public's views.

"The camps need to have community support" Yaroslavsky said. "If they don't want it, there are other alternatives that will have to be found."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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