The Calabasas City Council Meeting on March 29, 2023, at 7PM included an important announcement from LA County Firefighters regarding new wildfire mitigation rules Calabasas homeowners must follow
March 28, 2023, Calabasas, CA — The topic of home hardening will be explored at the March 29, 2023 Calabasas City Council meeting taking place at Calabasas City Hall, 100 Civic Center Way, Calabasas at 7PM. The meeting will kick off with a presentation by the LA County Fire Department with an important announcement to local homeowners. Starting in May, the Fire Department will begin inspecting 5,350 Calabasas homes and issuing orders for the removal of most vegetation within the first 5 feet from the house, if deemed necessary. Homeowners will be given at least 30 days to comply. Non-compliance could mean fines and/or having the fire department remove the offending material and charge the homeowner.
EPIC-FSC President Brian Cameron will make an important statement at the meeting via Zoom. So far, the Calabasas nonprofit has helped 100 neighbors through free wildfire home hardening assessments.
“We want all Calabasas residents to be aware of the state’s new policy that holds homeowners accountable for the vulnerability of their house and landscape to wildfire and ember-ignition,” explains EPIC-FSC President Brian Cameron. “It all begins by creating adequate defensible space; something locals need to get up to speed on immediately.”
The recent atmospheric rivers that hit California are an excellent reminder to prepare your home and family for the next wildfire. The abundant Spring rains will bring a bloom of greenery that, come summer, will likely die and become the kind of flammable material wildfires thrive on. The fire safe council hopes to help Calabasas residents mitigate risks, survive emergency events, and recover from fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. By taking action long before a wildfire threatens the community, homeowners can make their structures safer by addressing vulnerabilities.
A group of concerned Calabasas residents created EPIC-FSC following the 2018 Woolsey Fire. Today, volunteers have learned how to harden homes from the experts at CalFire and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains in an effort to harden all 8,400 homes in Calabasas, prioritizing and protecting human life, existing structures, and the unique habitat of the community. Calabasas residents can schedule a free home hardening assessment by visiting the EPIC-FSC website.
What is Defensible Space?
Defensible Space is the required 100 feet of buffer zone homeowners need to create between their home and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surrounds it. Creating more defensible space around homes is a critical aspect of protecting the Calabasas community, providing a barrier to slow, or even halt, the progress of fire that would otherwise engulf a property. It also helps ensure the safety of firefighters.
A Home Hardening Assessment from EPIC-FSC
During an assessment with EPIC-FSC, an evaluator will review defensible space and home hardening principles, making specific recommendations to the homeowner. Evaluations are performed by trained volunteers and take about 45 to 60 minutes to complete. A summary of all the recommendations and additional resources and materials is provided at the end of the evaluation.
Not only will homeowners help mitigate risks for their homes and community, but they will also save money and retain their insurance policies. California has become the first state in the nation to require insurance premium discounts for owners of homes and businesses made safer from wildfires. Under California’s Safer From Wildfires framework, the new rules mandate that insurance companies reward consumers who take wildfire safety and mitigation actions.