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West Valley | VALLEY FOCUS

Meeting Will Discuss Airborne Firefighting

September 13, 1997|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Although officials say the fire season in the Las Virgenes area has been unusually quiet this year, a disaster service meeting Monday will focus on airborne fire prevention. At the quarterly meeting of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station's Disaster Communications Service, a representative of the Air National Guard--responsible for dropping flame retardant in areas firefighters cannot go--will discuss the Guard's role in fighting local fires.

"It is a part of emergency firefighting that people on the ground have little or no experience with," said Mike Higgins, disaster communications service coordinator.

Lt. Col. Ed Bellion of the 146th Operations Group stationed at Point Mugu Naval Air Station will address the organization at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Smothers Theater at Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway.

The commander will explain how his crew trains to fight fires using the C-130 Hercules Air Drop Tanker, Higgins said. The tanker "can lay out yards of material with each drop," he said. "[It] can coat quite an area."

Officials said the meeting also will serve as a way to bring members together, to put faces to the voices they encounter during an emergency. The Malibu/Lost Hills Disaster Communications Service, a volunteer arm of the sheriff's station, serves the areas of Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Malibu.

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