Time for spring clearing
May 5, 2011
“It’s a tremendously huge job,” said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Johnson, who oversees the department’s forestry program. The goal, he said, is to create “a defensible space” for firefighters to try to stop flames before they reach structures.
The brush clearance ordinance targets areas where there’s a “wildland/urban interface” and requires, among other things, the removal of brush within 50 feet of homes and businesses, Johnson said. Notices were sent to property owners in these areas earlier this year. The compliance deadline for most county residents was last Sunday, with June 1 being the deadline in coastal areas.
Johnston said property owners essentially are given two warnings. After that, the county steps in to clear the brush, charging the costs to the property owners. Last year, 93% of property owners complied, Johnson said, with the county being forced to clear only 32 parcels.
For full details on the Fire Department’s brush clearance program, including a list of private vendors, click here. If you live in the Santa Monica Mountains, check out the “Road Map to Fire Safety,” produced by the Santa Monica Mountains Fire Safe Alliance.