Fire Danger in Brush Areas Remains Because

Even though the area was surrounded by brush and trees, the man didn’t want to put out the fire. He told LAFD Captain Thomas Kitahata that there were no signs stating he couldn’t cook.

City Fails to Put Up ‘No Cooking’ Signs

Fire Station 69 Captain Thomas Kitahata reported that on August 30, the Sunset station received a 911 call related to fire and smoke in Temescal Canyon Park.

They arrived to find a single man barbecuing next to the brush on the hillside that leads up to homes on Radcliffe Avenue.

On August 21, Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness member Sharon Kilbride, who routinely keeps an eye on Temescal and the parkland below the Via de las Olas bluffs, wrote in an email to City officials: “This man would not put out his flame, arguing that there are NO ‘No Cooking’ signs along the park. We really need to get signage on Temescal Road since our team finds coals dumped on the ground in this area daily.”

In May, Kilbride reported the problems and heard from L.A. Recreation and Parks Senior Park Maintenance Supervisor Mark Jackson. “Temescal Canyon is designated as a high fire danger park, so we can get signs that state ‘No Barbecues’ April through November and ‘No Barbecues’ within 100 feet of a hillside,” he said.

And then, nothing was done.

Councilman Mike Bonin’s Field Deputy Lisa Cahill told Kilbride and Jackson) in an August 21 email: “My understanding is that there was research being done to see what the existing signs say. Mark, will you update our office of the status of getting signs posted? Tomorrow cannot be soon enough as we just had a five-acre fire in Palisades last week.”

L.A. City Park Ranger Captain Albert Torres responded to Kilbride and Cahill, “There is a ‘No Smoking, No Barbecues’ sign that quotes the LAMC 57.4908, that allows officers to cite for violations.”

Kitahata said he spoke to the gentleman who was barbecuing and tried to educate him, again. “He did pack up his belongings and took off after he put out his barbecue,” Kitahata said. “He did mention that he had done this many times before because it is not prohibited by law since there are no postings.”

As the hills continue to dry out, the brush on the sides of Temescal Canyon Road becomes fire tinder. According to Kitahata, “We definitely will continue to get these calls [until the signs go up].”


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One Response to Fire Danger in Brush Areas Remains Because

  1. Betsy Collins says:

    We who live on Temescal Canyon rim are terrified of these cooking fires getting out of control. We must get the No Fires signs up ASAP. Perhaps with the construction in the play area and upwards where new homes are being built, the old signs were taken down. Please keep reporting on this, Sue. Our lives and homes depend on this.
    Thank you.

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