Two years ago today, the Woolsey Fire ravaged Malibu, burning 100,000 acres, taking three lives, destroying nearly 500 homes and leaving our entire community traumatized.
Malibu will never forget. But we have come through stronger than before, and the entire community has worked diligently to rebuild to become more resilient and more prepared. The City Council has made protecting public safety and rebuilding after Woolsey the City’s top priorities. The City Council has declared November 9 as Malibu’s Annual Day of Preparedness so that we never forget and keep doing everything we can to prevent new tragedies.
Woolsey showed us in terrifying clarity, what the new normal of climate change and California mega fires look like, so one of the ways that we can honor the terrible loss that Woolsey inflicted on many in Malibu is to do everything possible to help them rebuild their homes and get back on their feet. I’m proud to say the City has done that. From the expedited permitting process, to the rebuild fee waivers, we now have 15 homes completed, more than 255 permits to rebuild, and more are on the way every day.
Another way we can honor that loss is to make sure that we are all more prepared for the next big wildfire that threatens our community. That means making sure that the City is more prepared, our partner agencies are more prepared and most importantly that we are helping everyone in the community to be prepared by providing the resources and information they need to protect their families and their homes. Community-wide preparedness means all of us together.
I am also proud of the great strides the City has made on wildfire preparedness as well, from increasing CERT and first aid classes, to the Evacuation Plan and Zones, to the Zero Power Plan, to the fire safe landscaping ordinance and the home fire hardening assessment service. The City is committed to providing residents with the tools, resources and information they need to protect themselves and their neighborhoods from Malibu’s number one public safety threat, wildfire.