Firefighters warn of Kirkwood Bowl fire danger

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Hollywood Hills are known for their iconic homes with expansive views. But with that charm, comes a large dose of angst.

"Every time it's hot and the wind blows, I get extremely nervous," Hollywood Hills resident Joe Williams said.

Fire in the Hollywood Hills is always a major concern, but firefighters said that's especially true in Kirkwood Bowl.

"Some people consider it one of our more dangerous areas in the Hollywood Hills," said Charles Butler, deputy chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Kirkwood Bowl and the rest of the Hollywood Hills have been Butler's turf for the last 17 years.

Streets in Kirkwood Bowl are the biggest problem. Butler said the roads in many places taper down to narrow choke holds that could trap residents and keep fire crews from getting to the fire.

"A car that parks on a curve in a bad spot can block a fire truck or ambulance from getting into this area," he said.

But forget about widening the roads in the Hollywood Hills. House setbacks are tiny or non-existent in most parts of the Hills, leaving no room for bigger streets.

"Old communities, there's not a lot you can do about the infrastructure," Butler said. "The roads are what they are. So easy solutions, no."
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