LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An otherwise routine Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting became an star-studded affair Tuesday as Malibu residents turned out to give thanks for ongoing firefighting efforts.
Actor Pierce Brosnan and Coldplay singer Chris Martin were among several speakers at Tuesday’s meeting as officials heard from locals as they shared their experiences from the Woolsey Fire, which has devastated much of the Santa Monica Mountains and forced mandatory evacuations in the city of Malibu.
In addition to Brosnan and Martin, other Malibu notables who showed up at the meeting in downtown L.A. include “La La Land” filmmaker Damien Chazelle; “Stargate Atlantis” actor Joe Flanigan; Rory Kennedy, documentary filmmaker and youngest child of U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy; and actor Remington Franklin.
Brosnan said the intensity of the fires was unlike any he had seen before.
“I have witnessed many fires in my community and personally experienced the devastation of those fires up close and personal,” said Brosnan, whose wife Keely also spoke. “But none as catastrophic as the events that have taken place in our community these past five days and nights.”
After thanking first responders for their efforts, Martin later took to the dais to encourage support from the county.
“There is sometimes an image of Malibu that people like me are there more than other people, and there’s a lot of people who need help from outside…from you guys, essentially,” Martin said.
But the meeting also took on a more serious tone when Nick Stewart, a resident of Malibu’s Decker Canyon, voiced frustration with evacuation orders which he said were confusing and potentially dangerous.
“They were sending me towards [Pacific Coast Highway] when I could see the fire coming down Kanan [Road],” said Stewart. “If I listened to these people, I’d be….I don’t know the bad information was really bad.”
Stewart also earned applause after criticizing what he suggested was the media’s focus on celebrity homes and not average Malibu residents.
“I don’t need to be listening to the radio hearing about Caitlyn Jenner’s house burning down,” he said. “I’m wondering how I’m gonna survive tonight.”
The Woolsey Fire, now burning in Malibu after erupting last week in the Ventura County city of Thousand Oaks, is 35 percent contained. It has scorched 96,314 acres and destroyed at least 435 structures, damaged 2 others and still threatens about 57,000.