WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA) — Fire evacuees demanded to know why there weren’t more firefighters and why their homes were left undefended at a tense town hall meeting Sunday.
A community meeting at Taft High School in Woodland Hills held to update residents on the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire lasted about three hours.
Some demanded to know why there weren’t more firefighters and why there wasn’t more communication when the fire broke out.
“Some of my neighbors have lost everything. And I’m not sure if my house is standing,” one woman said, pointing at officials. “Please answer that.”
CAL FIRE said, simply put, much of the state was under siege by flames and wind.
State Senator Henry Stern tried to reassure the crowd, empathizing as he insisted he is also a victim of the fires.
“I still don’t know if my home is standing. And I don’t know if my grandparents’ home is standing,” he said.
Adding to the frustration, it could be days more before evacuees are able to go home.
“When you’re in this position, you’re homeless,” Denise Pepper said. “There’s nothing. Thank God I have my husband and we have our two dogs. You know, so, whatever help you can get. You want answers now, you do.”
State and local fire, law enforcement and emergency management officials also spoke to the public about the efforts in battling the blazes.
One question they couldn’t answer is if President Trump would free up federal funds.
“Right now it’s pending,” said FEMA’s Veornica Verde. “But one of the things people can start to do now to start preparing is call their insurance company. Make sure they have that phone number and if they can, take photos of any damages,”
CAL FIRE said 200 engines are meanwhile making their way to the affected areas from other states to assist with firefighting efforts.