Board Approves Motion to Reduce Fire Risk in Homeless Encampments

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Shelia Kuehl and coauthored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger that will reduce the risk of fires from homeless encampments by connecting unhoused individuals in areas designated as Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones with housing and resources and ensuring areas remain free of encampments.

“A growing number of unsheltered individuals are residing in remote, mountainous regions that are especially dangerous during fire season,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Many unsheltered people require fire for survival to cook and keep warm. Unfortunately, this drastically increases the risk of nearby brush catching fire and spreading rapidly. Today’s motion is an important effort to protect people experiencing homelessness from fire risk and prevent any fire spreading in our communities.”

The motion prohibits homeless encampments in unincorporated regions of the County that are designated as Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones to prevent fires and potential loss of life and property. As part of this effort, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department Homeless Outreach Services Team will provide notification to impacted individuals. Through a collaborative effort with partner departments and agencies, the County’s Homeless Initiative will provide outreach and resources to those who reside in a fire zone and will also work with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to provide a report back to the Board on the progress of rehousing people experiencing homelessness.

A copy of the motion can be found here.

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