City of Malibu Promotes Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 1
With Southern California’s wildfire season already bringing small fires to the region, the City of Malibu invites all community members to participate in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 1. This national campaign encourages people and organizations everywhere to come together on a single day to take action to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks. During the pandemic, this year’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is focused on what residents can do on and around their home to help protect against the threat of wildfires.
“As extreme fire conditions and mega-fires have become the new normal in California, it is more important than ever for everyone in Malibu to be prepared for the next catastrophic wildfire by making your emergency plans, hardening your home and building up your emergency supplies,” said Mayor Mikke Pierson. “Ever since the Woolsey Fire, Malibu has been ramping up our wildfire preparedness efforts, and by joining us for the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, you can do even more to protect your family, home and neighborhood.”
Projects that reduce wildfire risk and increase preparedness can be accomplished by people of all ages with a variety of time commitments, even during the pandemic. The City’s Public Safety staff recommend these actions:
- See if your home’s address number is visible from the street. If not, trim overgrown vegetation covering or blocking the numbers on your homes in case firefighters need to find you.
- If your property has a drafting hydrant make sure it’s visible from the street, painted red and properly signed.
- Check your possessions. Take video and photos of your possessions so you will have documentation to replace belongings.
- Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves to a minimum of 5 feet from a home’s foundation. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
- Sweep porches and decks, clearing them of leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures.
- On mature trees, use hand pruners and loppers to remove low-hanging tree branches up to a height of 4 feet from the ground (specific height depends on the type and size of tree). Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site.
- Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage area. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors or near the home.
Make Plans, Gather Supplies
Home Ignition Zone Assessments
During a wind-driven wildfire like the Woolsey Fire, millions of burning embers can travel more than a mile ahead of the fire front and are a major cause of homes being destroyed during a wildfire. When embers find dry, receptive fuels and get lodged in gaps such as eves and attic vents in and around your home, they cause your house to ignite and burn down. Fire experts call this the Home Ignition Zone. By being ember-aware and taking often simple and inexpensive steps ahead of time, you can substantially harden your home against flying embers during wildfires.
The City’s Fire Safety Liaison will visit your home and provide a no-cost, no-obligation Home Ignition Zone Assessment that will give you a checklist of recommendations to harden against flying embers. Visit the online scheduling system to set an appointment for your home assessment.
For more information about wildfire safety and how to protect your home, visit the City’s Wildfire Safety website or contact Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard at 310-456-2489, ext. 387 or by email at FireSafety@MalibuCity.org.