During an emergency that poses a threat to life safety, such as a major fire, earthquake, flooding, or landslide, the Incident Command (usually Fire or Sheriff's Department) may issue an evacuation order for the threatened area. Information will include safe areas or emergency shelter locations where evacuated individuals and families may go for temporary shelter. 

Evacuation Plan

At its Regular meeting on February 24, 2020, the City Council adopted the Mass Evacuation Plan as an update to the City’s Emergency Operations Plan, previously adopted in 2018. The Mass Evacuation Plan was one of the findings of a working group assembled after the 2018 Woolsey Fire to improve disaster coordination, communication, and evacuation among all of the public agencies that might provide mutual response to the City in the event of a disaster, including Los Angeles County Fire, Sheriff’s, Public Works, and Beaches and Harbors Departments, the County Supervisor’s office, Caltrans, Southern California Edison, California State Parks, CHP, City of Santa Monica, and other agencies.


As part of the City's Mass Evacuation Plan, the City partnered with the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments to establish official Evacuation Zones. The Zones follow Malibu’s historic fire corridors. Malibu's zones are numbered 11-14, following zones located in Topanga Cyn. This consistent numbering from east to west will be extremely beneficial to out-of-area mutual aid professionals assisting with a disaster.

In the event of a large fire or other disaster, officials may use the Evacuation Zones to quickly identify the timing, order, and routes of evacuation for specific areas to be more effective and avoid traffic bottlenecks. Residents are encouraged to become familiar with the Zone and evacuation routes, and memorize the Evacuation Zone number for their home, school, and place of business. 

Visit MalibuCity.org/ZoneSearch to see in which zone your home or office is located.

View all Evacuation Zones, or view by zone number: Zone 11, Zone 12, Zone 13, and Zone 14.


New California Standard Statewide Evacuation Terminology was developed by the California Office of Emergency Services in close partnership with public safety agencies throughout the state to communicate clearly and consistently in alerts and warnings. The standardized terminology was created in response to the catastrophic wildfires of 2017 and 2018. In the event of an evacuation in Malibu, the New California Standard Statewide Evacuation Terminology will be used. 

Evacuation Order

There is an immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access.

Evacuation Warning

There is a potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate and those with pets and livestock should leave now.

Shelter in Place

Go indoors. Shut and lock doors and windows. Prepare to self-sustain until further notice and/or contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction. 

Evacuation Order(s) Lifted

The formal announcement of lifting evacuations in an area currently under evacuation.

Hard Closure

No one is permitted through hard closures except for emergency services personnel such as Law Enforcement or Fire. Hard closures are generally the result of an evacuation order or other threats to life safety. 

Soft Closure

No one is permitted through soft closures except for emergency services personnel and critical incident resources (i.e. utility, Caltrans, City/County Roads, etc. or the needed to repair or restore infrastructure).

Resident only closure

Soft closure with the additional allowance of residents and local government agencies assisting with response and recovery. The Dolphin Decal will provide entry with potential further verification required. 

Please be aware that all closures are operated at the discretion of law enforcement.