Santa Monica Firemen Put Out a Fire in a Cave In the Side of the Cliffs Above PCH. Video
Firemen believed that homeless people had occupied the cave, and set the fire accidentally. But it wouldn't do to blast the soft cliffside with firehoses.
October 15, 2022
10.10.22: Firemen struggled to extinguish a fire in a cave in the side of the Palisades Park cliffs Monday afternoon. It wasn't that the fire was big. It was hidden, and firemen were not immediately sure how to access it. The fire was 20 feet from a wooden stairway that leads down to Pacific Coast Highway and the beach.
Firemen believed that homeless people had occupied the cave, and set the fire accidentally. They did not think that any person who set the fire remained in the cave with it. But it wouldn't do to blast the soft cliffside with firehoses, and bring a part of it down on PCH below.
The amount of land burned was quite small, as the fire was contained underground. Firemen were not sure what burned, "but most likely personal possessions, such as a sleeping bag."
About 1000 to 2000 homeless people bed down in Santa Monica on any given night. The cliffs offer them nice views and are seen as an invitation.
Firefighters were sent to that area just last week for a reported brush fire that was never found, but there had been a smell of smoke which led firefighters to that location, said one local source. "Authorities said that the homeless people actually dug into the side of the bluffs to create that cave."
Beverly Hills and Los Angeles fire department assisted Santa Monica Fire today.
At least some local residents wondered whether digging a cave into a cliff, then starting a fire there, then putting it out; would weaken the cliffs above PCH.