You are here

The Los Angeles County Fire Department's "Ready! Set! Go!" wildfire education program this year includes an emphasis on using landscaping to protect homes against fire. Scott Steepleton/Surfside News
Scott Steepleton, Editor
8:44 am PDT April 29, 2021

Los Angeles County Fire Department stations aren’t the only place where reminders to be fire safe will be popping up around Malibu.

As part of the 2021 “Ready! Set! Go!” education program, you might even see firefighters wearing face coverings with the program logo, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Fire Foundation.

Malibu is home to some of the 11 million people — about a quarter of California’s population — living in high fire-risk areas.

Between 2017-20, California experienced five of the deadliest wildfires and seven of the most destructive wildfires in state history, with more than 3.7 million acres burned, and more than 34,000 structures destroyed.

In that time, more than 140 people died as a result of fire.

One of those blazes — the November 2018 Woolsey Fire — destroyed hundreds of homes in Malibu and was found to have started with electrical equipment owned and operated by Southern California Edison, the same company responsible for the Thomas Fire, which destroyed hundreds of home in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and ultimately resulted in almost two dozen flood deaths in Montecito.

L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby calls the Woolsey Fire an “act of God.”

Residents of Malibu are still rebuilding almost three years later, some blaming city officials, including Reva Feldman, whose five years as city manager ends with her departure May 1, for a poor response to the fire and a prolonged rebuilding effort.

Dry conditions around the state, including the so-called wildland–urban interface, are leading officials to warn of high fire danger.

Banners touting “Ready! Set! Go!” are set to hang at fire stations May through August. In addition, fire stations will make available copies of “Ready! Set! Go!” wildland action plan brochures.

May is National Fire Preparedness Month, which includes Wildfire Preparedness Week, May 2-8.

“Ready! Set! Go!” is aimed at assisting L.A. County residents living in wildfire-prone areas.

The focus this year is home hardening, creating defensible space, and encouraging residents to work on an action plan that includes safe evacuation in the event of a wildfire.

On May 7, the department will roll out the program during a press briefing at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas.

Also this month, the department is releasing a new video, “Ornamental Vegetation — Landscaping Your Home,” with details on how plants, plant placement and proper maintenance can create a yard that helps prevent fire from spreading to structures.

The city of Malibu offers an Emergency Survival Guide that includes information on emergency and evacuation plans. Authorities also encourage residents to have “go bags” at the ready filled with food, water, medication and batteries that have not exceeded their expiration date.