Malibu Fires - 1978

Fire Damage In Malibu - Shock, awe and horror - all with a vague familiarity.

October 25, 1978 – Dollar Sinks On Anti-Inflation – Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty Stays Elusive – Los Angeles Surveys The Damage

Malibu Fires - 1978
Fire Damage In Malibu – Shock, awe and horror – all with a vague familiarity.

October 25, 1978 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

October 25, 1978 – Depending on where you were, it was an uncomfortable day. If you were in Finance, you would be nervous over the drop in the value of the dollar overseas as reactions spread over President Carter’s Anti-Inflation message. If you were looking for a peace settlement in the Middle East you would be wringing your hands in frustration over the state of negotiations between the Israelis and Egyptians. If you lived in the surrounding hills in Los Angeles you would be surveying damage or praying the firestorm missed you.

It was that kind of day. Starting with news that the U.S. dollar overseas experienced a precipitous drop overnight and the fears were that drop would spread to Wall Street. It was a disastrous day for the dollar in European money markets, as businessmen, bankers and speculators reacted with disappointment and skepticism to President Carter’s economic plans. The Dollar sank to a record low throughout Europe, while Gold climbed to a record high. No official reaction from Europe, but the general consensus of opinion was that of skepticism that the Carter plan would work. Back home, there was no great amount of enthusiasm for Carter’s Economic plan either.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East – Hopes were remaining high for a swift conclusion of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. However, nagging uncertainties persisted. Officials were quoted as saying there were enough problems and difficulties had arisen to delay final agreement on a draft treaty until early in November. The bloom was off the earlier optimism that the treaty between Egyptians and Israelis could all be wrapped up by the end of the week. For example; there were some 30 economic issues that, as of this day, had not been settled. That, among a host of other issues had some worrying things might not according to plan. But the overriding feeling was that of optimism that those outstanding issues would be ironed out and the treaty would be signed in November. Fingers crossed.

And the devastating fires which swept some 40,000 acres in the hills around Los Angeles were finally out for the most part, or under control but the damage tolls kept rising. Fire officials said the worst fire, in Agoura which swept through Malibu and Pacific Palisades all the way to the coast, destroyed some 161 homes and damaged an estimated 100 others. Most of the homes were listed as “expensive”. Another fire, this one in Pacific Palisades, destroyed another 25 homes. Officials said both fires still had hot spots, but were expected to be out by the morning. Authorities believed the Agoura fire, the worst of 12 in recent days, was deliberately set. Governor Jerry Brown declared the Fire zones a disaster area, making residents eligible for State aid.

And that’s just a little of what happened, this October 25, 1978 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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