It was a breezy fall afternoon, when Los Angeles County Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Errett sat down to a lengthy staff meeting with fire officials from across the region. Suddenly, the room erupted into a cacophony of pagers all buzzing at the same time. One by one, firefighters began checking the alert — and within seconds, they were running out the door and jumping into their cars, heading westbound on the 101 Freeway.
They needed to get to the Woolsey Fire.
While the firefighters raced to the wildfire, the Woolsey Fire was racing across the Santa Monica Mountains, cutting a path of devastation that would become the worst fire Los Angeles County has ever seen. It killed three people, destroyed more than 1,600 structures and scorched nearly 97,000 acres in both Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including the famous Malibu Hills.