MALIBU—The city of Malibu and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies and Malibu/Lost Hills Station are urging Malibu property owners to file Letters of Agency that will enable deputies to remove trespassers on private property more quickly to reduce wildlife threat that warming or cooking fires pose.

A Letter of Agency allows deputies to remove trespassers on private property when reported by a third party and when deputies are unable to contact the owner of the property. The city of Malibu posted a Letter of Agency on their website. Residents can download or print out the letter to fill out. Letters can be submitted to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station in person, by mail, or by email. Letters of Agency only last for one year, and residents will be required to resubmit a letter each year if they chose.

According to the City of Malibu website, filing a Letter of Agency is important for properties that are vacant or not being used or visited regularly. For all residents, it is encouraged to post signs that read “Private Property, No Trespassing” to assist deputies in enforcing no trespassing laws.

These Letters of Agency are in response to the October 19 fire on Malibu Canyon Road near HRL Laboratories. The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed the cause of the fire to be a person trespassing on private property. The fire grew to about three acres before being extinguished by firefighters. The fire occurred during dangerous fire conditions, as the surrounding areas were extremely dry and temperatures have not significantly lowered.