By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The Pacific Palisades Community Council hosted LAFD Deputy Chief and Commander of the West Bureau Armando Hogan at its July 9 virtual meeting to address a number of issues pertaining to wildfire safety and protection.
After a brief introduction by PPCC Chair David Card, Hogan jumped into statistics about the 2020 Brush Clearance Program, which was delayed due to COVID-19.
He reported that out of 5,606 private parcels that fall within the jurisdiction of LAFD Station 69, 5,319 passed, with nearly 300 receiving notifications of non-compliance. There are 96 public parcels and 23 passed.
For the area encompassed by LAFD Station 23, there are 2,746 private parcels and 2,543 passed inspection, with a little more than 200 receiving non-compliance notices. For public parcels, 64 out of 83 are not currently compliant.
Inspectors will be completing follow-up inspections in and around these areas, checking on the parcels and also brush that borders them, whether that land falls into city property, MRCA, state property or DWP.
The second question posed to Hogan touched on what the impact of the new city budget would be to the level of service in the Palisades, specifically the strength and operations of the two fire stations.
“We are very fortunate … as it relates to us,” Hogan shared. “Obviously there is always some back and forth that will still take place, however fire station 69 and 23 will be untouched. You will still have the same staffing levels and you will still get the same level of exemplary service.”
Another question addressed a fire evacuation drill that was slated to take place in the Palisades in spring, which was canceled due to the pandemic. Hogan was asked if it would be possible to conduct the drill virtually, while Safer at Home orders remain in place.
“We are looking at both of those,” Hogan replied. “I think it’s so much more beneficial when we’re out there and actually get to do it … you can get an idea of what your routine should be.”
Hogan explained that some of the terminology used by LAFD and other fire agencies has been changed to be consistent throughout the state: voluntary and mandatory evacuation will no longer be used and instead, it is now an evacuation warning and an evacuation order.
Hogan ended his talk by touching on the fact that LAFD is working with the ALERTWildfire program to install cameras in areas to assist firefighters to be alerted to fires when they break out.
“We are looking for your help to give us an idea of where would we place the cameras, where they would be most advantageous,” Hogan explained.
Hogan is taking suggestions for placement throughout the Palisades. He explained that the team does not need an exact address but that a general description will suffice. Ideally some will be placed where there is no cell reception to aid firefighting in those spaces.
Community input on where to place cameras can be sent to email@example.com, which will be passed along to Hogan.
“We thank Chief Hogan for speaking with us and supporting the safety of our community,” PPCC representatives shared in an email following the meeting.
The next scheduled PPCC meeting, set to take place July 23, is slated to feature a virtual visit with Councilmember Mike Bonin. For more information on how to join the meeting, visit pacpalicc.org.
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