What the City is Doing to Prepare
As Southern California heads into peak fire season, the City is working to prepare and help community members be prepared to prevent wildfires and be ready to respond to the next big wildfire that may come.
The City Manager and Public Safety Manager meet weekly with the Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department to discuss current and forecasted fire conditions, community concerns, and deployment levels in response to wildfire threat factors, such as hot, dry, windy weather, fuel moisture levels, and Santa Ana winds.
The Fire Safety Liaison also monitors current fire conditions in Malibu, including weather and fuel moisture levels, and reports them weekly to the City Manager and Public Safety Manager. A City Fire Safety Liaison is available to visit your home to assess the property’s wildfire risk and provide a checklist of ways that you can harden your homes against flying embers, which are a main cause of homes catching fire during a wildfire. To schedule an appointment, email FireSafety@malibucity.org or call 310-456-2489, ext. 387.
What you can do to be prepared
Residents should review their family emergency and evacuation plans, and check their “go bags” and emergency supplies to ensure that food, water, medication, and batteries have not expired. If you do not have an emergency plan or supply kits, learn how to get started by downloading the City’s free Emergency Survival Guide, available online.
The City also launched a communications campaign to help residents get ready, with daily tips on social media.
The Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains provides a valuable resource for wildfire preparedness. Visit 9 for detailed tips on what you can do to protect your home and surrounding areas from fire damage through fire-safe building and landscaping.
Build an Action Plan
It is critical to decide ahead of time how you and your family will respond to a wildfire and evacuation orders.
- Plan multiple escape routes from your home and other parts of Malibu that you frequent. Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Ready! Set! Go! program can help you plan for evacuations in advance.
- Pick a location to the North (Valley) and South (West LA/Santa Monica) where family members coming from different areas can reunite.
- Make sure your disaster supply kit contains appropriate protective clothing for fire conditions.
- Have several ways to stay in touch with family and friends. Texting may be more reliable when networks are overloaded. Radios may also be helpful, depending on the situation. Mobile phone apps like Zello can work as long as you have power and WiFi.
- Practice your plan! Know what items you can grab in five minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, and so on.
For additional planning advice, visit the Cal Fire website at www.ReadyForWildifre.org.
USE A WEED WHACKER SAFELY
- Have your weed whacker professionally checked and tuned before use, especially if it’s been in storage.
- Make sure there are no gas leaks.
- Take breaks so the motor does not become overheated.
- Use plastic blades or nylon strings instead of metal blades. Sparks caused by metal blades hitting rocks can start a fire.
- If you must use a metal blade, clear rocks before you begin cutting or avoid them as much as possible to prevent sparks.
- Do not refuel in the brush or grass.
- Cut in the cooler parts of the day (morning, evening, or overcast days).
- ALWAYS have a water source or fire extinguisher close by to put out sparks and blazes immediately.