Updated Fire Safety and Prevention Ordinance

By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter

As a result of public safety concerns in fire severity zones, of which Pacific Palisades is included, the city of Los Angeles has established a new law to increase safety measures during grass and brush clearing activities.

Included in the Municipal Code ordinance is the restriction of certain metal cutting blades that have been known to ignite fires—“non-sparking” and “non-ferrous” blades must instead be used.

Additional considerations include the necessity of having a two-gallon fire extinguisher within 10 feet of any brush clearing operation, along with a charged cell phone for emergencies and the use of a safety strap for tools or appliances with hot exhaust systems. Brush clearing must not take place on red flag days that indicate an increased threat of fire outbreaks.

Those found in violation of these policies, which became effective on Oct. 17, will be subject to a penalty from the city. In the case of second or third violations, violators may face prosecution as an infraction or misdemeanor.

Appearing at the end of the ordinance is an Urgency Clause: “Based on the findings set forth above, and that use of metal cutting blades to clear grass and brush is likely to continue to occur within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone without the necessary safeguards, the City Council adopts this ordinance as an urgency ordinance that is required for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety.”