Illegal Activities in Fire Zones
Transients in high fire severity zones started two homeless-related fires, one a “warming” and the second an act of revenge that threatened the hillsides and homes above Pacific Coast Highway.
The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness has been working for years with City officials and law enforcement to try and keep individuals and fires out of very high fire severity zones.
Circling the News learned that for the past six months, the Caltrans service road gate at Temescal and PCH had been damaged and the road was easily accessible to transients, who had moved back into the brush below the bluffs.
Durrah Wagner (Councilman Mike Bonin’s field representative) and Josh Kurpies (Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s District Director) were contacted today by the PPTFH asking if the gate could be replaced.
“This is a posted restricted area fire zone,” PPTFH members wrote. “LAPD found a chop shop up on the service road where the suspects were taking stolen car parts and using the area to take cars apart.
“We also have found car dwellers and homeless camps with fire materials.”
LAPD requested that the gate be fixed about a month ago, but nothing has happened, yet. “We really need Caltrans to repair the gate and secure the area to protect the community from fire in the dry brushy hillsides above,” PPTFH wrote.
Homeless individuals have been receiving medical services.
On February 9, PPTFH Co-President Sharon Kilbride alerted CTN that the nonprofit’s first responder team was able to get the Venice Family Clinic’s Meyer Medical Van to come to PCH and Temescal Canyon Road. “Today, we had about 10 of our Pacific Palisades homeless come and take advantage of flu vaccines, pneumonia and tetanus shots,” Kilbride said. “Chris from Common Ground was on hand to work with folks with addiction.”
In December, about 21 homeless were tested for Covid and every test came back negative. Four nurses from the Department of Health Service and nurse Nancy from the Venice Family Clinic also administered flu shots on that date.
Kilbride said that the goal is to “keep individuals and our community healthy and safe,” by meeting clients “where they are” and supplying healthcare services.
“The outreach team loved the idea of being part of the solution,” Kilbride said, noting that they are frontline staff who come into daily contact with high-risk homeless individuals. Keeping these individuals healthy helps keep us all healthier.”
Nurse Nancy rides along with People Concern outreach workers, Glanda and Jessi, every Tuesday and Thursday, when homeless outreach is done here in town.
The homeless are trying to tap electricity.
When Circling the News ran a February 9 piece (“Spotty Wireless Communication Is an Issue in Pacific Palisades”) and reported that it appeared that a AT&T box on PCH had been tampered with, a resident did follow up research and wrote to CTN:
“I was heading down PCH this afternoon and was curious to stop and take a look at that AT&T Wireless equipment next to Mastro’s [the restaurant north of Sunset Mesa].
“That person who had the ongoing saga trying to get the cell service fixed had better keep that AT&T contact information handy! AT&T has not replaced the missing security enclosure, has not secured the cellular wiring (but they did tie it up with string) or even replaced the cover on the electrical box. They could have picked up that last item at Palisades Hardware! See one attached pic. A second pic is coming in another email.
“I guess you could call it vandalism, but really this appears to be someone trying to get at electrical power. Aside from this instance, it is amazing how the cellular companies leave most of their wiring so exposed as to be easily vandalized.”
Additionally, CTN has observed a homeless person tap into the electrical light poles at the Field of Dreams. It was reported to Recreation Center officials, not because we don’t feel homeless should have electricity, but out of concern for the person’s safety.
(To support the PPTFH efforts with a donation and to learn of upcoming events, visit: pptfh.org.)