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January 28
1850 - Death Valley '49er William Robinson dies in Soledad Canyon from drinking too much cool water [story]
Leaving Death Valley


| Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019
enhanced Fire officials convene at the scene of a quarter-acre grass fire in the wash underneath Valencia Boulevard. | Photo: Lorena Mejia/The Signal.
Fire officials convene at the scene of a quarter-acre grass fire in the wash underneath Valencia Boulevard. | Photo: Lorena Mejia/The Signal.

 

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday in favor of a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis for enhanced proactive fire response in high-risk areas by partnering with the county’s emergency services departments, Sheriff’s homeless outreach service teams, the L.A. Homeless Services Authority and other county-funded outreach programs.

At-risk homeless encampments in riverbeds and wildland areas are not uncommon throughout the region, but some have caused fires, putting individuals experiencing homelessness and surrounding communities in danger.

But efforts to help reduce these risks and protect lives are underway for the Santa Clarita Valley and other locations in LA County following unanimous approval by the Board of Supervisors to deploy a multi-agency task force to address the issue.

In the motion, the supervisors stated that “it is imperative that the county proactively provides enhanced outreach and cleanup in high-risk areas to protect the lives of — and provide services to — people experiencing homelessness, including exploring the capability of responding outside of regular business hours during emergencies and protect the lives of people and property of surrounding communities.”

Enhanced efforts officially commenced last summer, when county departments identified and created a database of homeless encampments in fire hazard severity zones. Data has helped local agencies offer assistance for relocation and removal of material that might be potentially hazardous in these zones, according to the motion.

With approval Tuesday, efforts will be “ramped up as we approach fire season,” said Dana Vanderford, homeless services deputy for Barger, whose district includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We want to work with the city (of Santa Clarita) in doubling up our efforts,” she said. “Before we go out there, we will need to look at additional funding, but we will work with fire departments for cleanup and with homeless services to connect individuals to housing.”

Bridge to Home’s switch to year-round operations will play a vital role in offering more beds and services, as “last year we wouldn’t have had a place for them to stay,” she added.

Riverbeds and wildland areas may provide refuge for the unsheltered but it may also pose significant risks of flooding and, often, fires as a result of cooking fires, such as the 2017 Skirball blaze in a Bel Air neighborhood that destroyed six homes.

The most recent incidents in the SCV included one in May when a small grass fire ignited in the wash behind the new Porsche dealership, near Auto Center Drive, in Valencia. Crews managed to stop the blaze at a homeless encampment with no injuries or structure damage reported.

Related incidents are becoming more common, according to fire officials at Fire Station 73 on Railroad Avenue. With a growing homeless population, homeless encampments have also increased in numbers.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 307 new deaths and 6,917 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia late Tuesday reported its 113th COVID fatality since the pandemic began.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
Nearly a year into a pandemic that gobbled up millions of jobs and caused double-digit jobless rates, California's Employment Development Department is still mired one of the largest — and most costly — bureaucratic failures in state history.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors learned Tuesday there are four legal options for removing county Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has been accused of a lack of leadership and obstructing oversight, among other issues.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
On behalf of more than two dozen partner agencies, Assistant Director in Charge Kristi K. Johnson of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office announced the results of "Operation Lost Angels,” an initiative which began on January 11 and recently culminated in the recovery of 33 children.
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021
One year ago (Tuesday), the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced its first case of the novel coronavirus.

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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
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