The City of Malibu’s Fire Hazard Tree Removal Program got under way November 9. The new grant funded program is part of the City’s efforts to help homeowners be better prepared and protect their homes and properties from wildfires, and help reduce fire hazards throughout the community.
“Removing hazard trees are important ways to make homes and properties more resistant to future wildfires, and create defensible space to help firefighters while defending your home, and that helps make the whole community more fire-safe,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “Here in Malibu, we live with the constant threat of the next big wildfire, so it is up to us all as individuals and as a community to be more fire resistant and resilient.”
The City’s contractor began felling the first trees on November 9 and will continue the work through November and December. The City’s Fire Safety Liaison will be on site working with the contractor and the homeowners.
Removing hazard trees is an important way that homeowners can create defensible space and remove flammable materials from around their property and make their home more fire resistant. In addition to posing a fire hazard, dead and dying trees are often very weak and brittle. If a tree collapses, it could damage a home or vehicle, block a road, destroy utilities, or even cause injury or death.
The City’s program is funded by a $324,000 Wildfire Resiliency grant the City recently received from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Malibu residents were able to begin signing up for the service starting in July. The City’s contractor, a licensed arborist, and the Fire Safety Liaison have been working with homeowners to identify and assess trees that pose a fire hazard, map them out, and schedule them for removal.
Due to the strong interest in the program and the high number of hazard trees already identified, not all tree removal requests can be fulfilled within the program’s existing grant funding. However, all of the trees identified through the program where assessed and tree removal has been prioritized based on risk profile, so that all of the most hazardous trees will be removed.
For more information, call Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard at 310-456-2489, ext. 387 or email FireSafety@MalibuCity.org.
For more information about City’s wildfire preparedness efforts, visit www.MalibuCity.org/FireSafety.
Matt Myerhoff, Malibu Media Information Officer