The city of Malibu announced Wednesday the launch of a free, grant-funded fire hazard tree removal and chipper program to help residents prepare for wildfires.

“Brush clearance and removing hazard trees are important ways to create defensible space to make your home more fire resistant, help firefighters stay safe while defending your home, and protect the whole community from wildfires,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti.

“Here in Malibu, the next big wildfire is just around the corner, not just in peak wildfire season,” he said. “So it’s up to us all as individuals and as a community to do everything possible to be ready.”

Both services are being funded by a $324,000 Wildfire Resiliency grant the city recently received from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. The goal of the grant, according to city officials, is to decrease fire hazards and fuel loading within Malibu and to help homeowners increase and/or maintain their brush clearance as required by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Homeowners will be able to take advantage of the services to expand their defensible space prior to peak fire season and the arrival of dangerous Santa Ana winds, a city spokesman said.

Residents can sign up to have dead and dying trees for free later this summer. A licensed arborist will work with Public Safety staff and homeowners to identify and assess trees that pose a fire hazard, map them out, and schedule them for removal.

The city will hold community chipper and green waste days in September to provide residents an opportunity to dispose of large amounts of vegetation that poses a fire hazard, including dead vegetation from brush clearance that was required to be complete by June 1.

Sign-ups, schedules and all other information about both services will be posted at www.MalibuCity.org/FireSafety as soon as it is available.

For more information, call Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard at 310-456-2489, ext. 387, or send an email to FireSafety@MalibuCity.org.

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