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A Year After Woolsey Fire, Residents Of One Hard Hit Community In Santa Monica Mountains Remember It

It’s dusk, and a very special gathering is taking place at a little known spot in the Santa Monica Mountains. More than 50 people are sipping on wine, and eating snack as they socialize on the banks on Malibou Lake. The conversation is friendly and lively, but the occasion is not. The people are commemorating the disaster which was happening here a year ago.

The Woolsey Fire swept through the tiny lakefront community, destroying about 30 of its 130 homes. The area is like something you’d find in the Midwest, with homes built around a small lake in a valley surrounded by mountains. Most people know each other, and have together shared the trauma of the fire.

Many residents are in the process of rebuilding, but a few are still on the fence about whether they will do it.

The fire’s survivors say one of the things that’s helped is the fact it’s such a tiny, close knit place. Residents have been there to support each other as they’ve been coping with the biggest disaster to hit the nearly 100 year old community.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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