Malibu Burning (MWC Press) is a combination of investigative journalism and memoir, a series of stories about people involved with and impacted by the fire that ripped through Los Angeles and Ventura counties in 2018. It destroyed thousands of homes and displaced nearly 300,000 residents. In a dramatic retelling of this horrific tragedy, Kerbeck reveals surprising twists and turns to the story.
The book has had a lot of attention since publication. Excerpts from the book were featured in Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Also, articles on Malibu Burning were featured in Epoch Newspaper, Good Men Project, and other national print media.
Kerbeck has also been very prominent in making in-person appearances to numerous shows and podcasts. He appeared on the national radio show Coast to Coast with George Noory, was brought on as a “wildfire expert” on KTLA’s Morning Show, and has been on numerous other major radio shows and podcasts, including Writers on Writing, CBS, Change Your Life, Change Your Attitude, and The Aware Show with Lisa Garr.
Since fighting the Woolsey Fire and writing Malibu Burning, Kerbeck has become a fierce advocate for fire safety for homeowners. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) thanked Robert for writing Malibu Burning, especially the chapter on the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory where the Woolsey Fire started. They offered to team up with him on environmental issues related to wildfires.
Kerbeck is the founder of the Malibu Writers Circle and a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. On November 9, 2018, Robert, along with his wife and teenage son, fought to save their home from the deadly Woolsey fire, the worst wildfire in Los Angeles history. His harrowing first-person account was read by over a million people as an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times. His book was published one year later: Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire. Kerbeck interviewed nearly every player in the fire from the LA County Supervisor to the Deputy Fire Chief to the Malibu City Manager, as well as many well-known people whose lives were affected. Celebrities who were interviewed or appear in the book include Bob Dylan, Joan Didion, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kevin Dillon, Matt Dillon, Julia Roberts, Anthony Kiedis, Chris Martin, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many others.
Malibu Burning is a combination of investigative journalism and memoir… a series of stories of people involved with and impacted by the fire that ripped through Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying thousands of homes and displacing nearly 300,000 residents. In a dramatic retelling of this horrific tragedy, Kerbeck reveals surprising twists and turns to the story, including a secret nuclear power plant where the fire started, firefighters who would not fight the fire, and the real life stories of the people who lost everything they owned. ◊