Hot Coals Present Fire Danger
People who live along Temescal Canyon Park often see people picnicking and cooking with barbecues. Those residents have wondered how safe it is to have open flames and hot coals so close to the brush-covered walls of the canyon that back up to houses.
As a volunteer of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness, Sharon Kilbride routinely keeps an eye on Temescal and the parkland below the Via de las Olas bluffs.
She wrote in an email to City Officials on August 21: “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.
“I hope you can find a solution for this ongoing problem,” Kilbride said, noting that she had reported this potential fire hazard for more than a year, and nothing had been done.
As recently as May, Kilbride had sent an email to L.A. City Park Ranger Captain Albert Torres: “My enforcement team has been finding that folks are continually using coals for barbecuing along Temescal.”
She asked if there was signage to discourage cooking. “They leave the coals, and this could start a fire – and this is a concern with all the brush along the Canyon,” she said. “We have been picking up the coals when we see large piles of them in the Canyon.”
L.A. Rec and Parks Senior Park Maintenance Supervisor Mike Jackson replied: “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.”
And then, nothing was done.
Councilman Mike Bonin’s Field Deputy Lisa Cahill told Kilbride 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.”
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.”
Hopefully the signs will go up soon in Temescal Canyon Park, so that the open fires can be enforced by LAPD. Thanks go to Kilbride for following through.