Twenty years ago today the Laguna Beach fire destroyed and damaged more than 400 homes and burned 14,337 acres. Reflecting on that tragic day, city officials say valuable lessons were learned from the flames.
The city has made changes from the aftermath of the historic fire, with the biggest improvements being the availability of water to battle future fires, according to a report in the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. The Laguna Beach County Water District now has 23 percent more water available than it did in 1193, and has improved its communication system with the latest technology.
"We were on a lower bandwidth, so the smoke prevented a signal from
getting out," Richard Mathis, the district's operation manager, told the newspaper. "We couldn't get a signal to turn a pump on
or off. This new system will find a way, such as [signals] hitting off
other radio towers. The big thing is we can turn equipment on and off
and not send [workers] out."
Laguna Beach can currently store 33 1/2 million gallons of water in 22 reservoirs, compared to 25 1/2 million gallons of water in 20 reservoirs in 1993.