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With Rain Forecast, Residents In Woolsey Fire Burn Zone Prep For Possible Mudslides

Houston Waye fils a sandbag at Fire Station 65 in Agoura Hills. He's bringing sandbags to his neighbors in Seminole Springs, where over 100 homes were destroyed in the fires. (Photo by Emily Dugdale/KPCC)
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With fire containment levels at more than 90 percent, many evacuees are finally headed home.

But now there's rain in the forecast for Wednesday -- and with that can come the danger of mudslides and debris flows.

So residents are wearily collecting sandbags to protect their property for a second time.

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Tucked away off of Cornell Road in Agoura Hills, an overflow parking area at Fire Station 65 turned into a sandbag assembly line on Monday afternoon.

With the burn scars on the Santa Monica Mountains visible behind them, people crowded around mounds of sand with shovels, filling and tying white plastic bags.

Local resident Houston Waye was on his second trip to the station from Seminole Springs to grab sandbags. Over 100 homes in his area burned down -- and he has a lot of neighbors who need help.

"A lot of the people in my community are kind of elderly and retired, so it's kind of anything we can do to help each other out," he said. He's spreading the sandbags out around his neighborhood to make them accessible to as many people as possible.

Firefighter specialist Meehan said he's glad he's seen a lot of proactive homeowners picking up bags.

"What happens sometimes too is that people will come out when it's raining -- when it's pouring -- and that's not the time you want to do it," he said.

Meehan said the fires burned a lot of vegetation that normally protects property from flooding by slowing rainfall and helping absorption. Now, the loose, exposed soil is prone to flooding, and sandbags placed around a property can act as a barrier to divert water away.

Fire officials recommend this for proper sandbag placement:

  • Fill bags half-full
  • Place bags lengthwise and parallel to the direction of the water flow
  • Don't stack sandbags above three layers unless the bags are braced or stacked in pyramids

The L.A. County Fire Department also put together a guide on how to prepare yourself and your home in the event of flooding.

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Sandbags are available at the following fire stations:

Fire Station 65
4206 Cornell Road
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Fire Station 67
25801 Piuma Road
Calabasas, CA 91302

Fire Station 68
24130 Calabasas Road
Calabasas, CA 91302

Fire Station 69
401 South Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Topanga, CA 90290

Fire Station 70
3970 Carbon Canyon Road
Malibu, CA 90265

Fire Station 71
28722 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Fire Station 72
1832 Decker Road
Malibu, CA 90265

Fire Station 89
29575 Canwood Street
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Fire Station 99
32550 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Fire Station 125
5215 Las Virgenes Road
Calabasas, CA 91302

Fire Station 144
31981 Foxfield Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Lifeguard Headquarters
2600 The Strand
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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