LAFD urges residents to clear brush as wildfire season approaches

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In preparation for summer, the Los Angeles Fire Department is inspecting what it considers high-risk fire areas to make sure precautions are being taken to prevent them.

Specifically, fire officials are making sure brush and vegetation near homes are meeting fire code standards, which can help prevent brush fires from spreading into houses.

"They've removed a lot of the reason for that fire to go uphill. It has to burn something but if there's nothing there to burn then it can't move," said LAFD Capt. Daniel Curry as he inspected a home that passed inspection.

Officials said the canyons of Los Angeles are especially vulnerable to fire hazards because of the brush-covered hillsides and ornamental vegetation in those areas.

The LAFD has outlined specific requirements for residents living in areas prone to brush fires:
  • Grass and weeds within 200 feet of a structure should be no longer than 3 inches
  • Brush or shrubs should be trimmed from the ground one-third their height and be a minimum of 18 feet away from buildings or other shrubs
  • Shrubs cannot be planted within 10 feet of a combustible fence
  • All grass and weeds within 10 feet of a combustible fence should not be longer than 3 inches
  • Branches need to be cut at least 5 feet from any roof surface
  • Branches need to be cut at least 10 feet from any chimney

Several Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Canyon residents said having brush clearance completed reassures them that their home will have a better chance of surviving a wildfire.

"It definitely gives you more peace of mind. I think it's the best thing you can do," said Laurel Canyon resident Emily Linford.

Visit the LAFD website for additional information on brush including clearance requirements, a list of local contractors and how to report a hazard.
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