LA CITY ORDINANCE ENHANCING ENFORCEMENT IN HIGH FIRE ZONES GOES INTO EFFECT

Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance, introduced by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, which aims to mitigate the risk of wildfires and improve the City’s ability to prevent trespassing in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (Zone). The ordinance advances to the Mayor’s desk to be signed, and upon his signature and the ordinance’s publication, it will go into effect immediately. 

September 4, 2019
Press Contact: 
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez  - Tran Le, tran.le@lacity.org, 213-257-0475
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield  - Jake Flynn, jake.flynn@lacity.org, 213-473-7003 

LA CITY ORDINANCE ENHANCING ENFORCEMENT IN HIGH FIRE ZONES GOES INTO EFFECT

The new rule allows law enforcement to issue direct notice & remove people from fire zones

Los Angeles, CA - Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance, introduced by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, which aims to mitigate the risk of wildfires and improve the City’s ability to prevent trespassing in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (Zone). The ordinance advances to the Mayor’s desk to be signed, and upon his signature and the ordinance’s publication, it will go into effect immediately. 

“This ordinance is a common sense tool that closes a gap in our fire code and allows us to be more effective in our enforcement to assure the public’s safety,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee. “As a Councilwoman who represents a community that has endured back-to-back wildfires, it is absolutely critical we act thoughtfully to protect the public and reduce the risk of displacing even more Angelenos.” 

Currently the City’s fire code requires the posting of signs every 600 feet. Meeting these posting requirements for the entire Zone is unrealistic and leaves significant portions of the Zone unposted. The proposed rules will allow law enforcement to issue direct notice to trespassers in restricted areas. 

"From Eagle Rock to the Santa Monica Mountains, we've had two local fires within the last week alone. High Fire Severity Zones are at constant risk of burning and the last thing I want to see is anyone harmed or killed, especially when it could have been prevented. This legislation gives our first responders more tools to proactively save lives and helps ensure folks are out of danger,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. “Thanks to Councilwoman Rodriguez for helping push our motion over the finish line. With climate change the year-long fire season is our new reality and we need to do everything we can to make sure that we are implementing policies that help keep people safe." . 

"This ordinance is an important step in protecting all our residents--housed and unhoused alike--from dangerous fires in sensitive areas," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "I want to thank Council members Blumenfield and Rodriguez, along with our colleagues in a number of City departments and my staff, for collaborating to keep our City safe."  

Individuals removed from the restricted Zone will be connected to outreach and housing services. To read the motion and ordinance, click here.

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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.