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Fuel Modification History and Background

By | Fuel Modification Section | No Comments

The dry, sunny climate and variable terrain of Southern California combine to create an environment where wildfires are a part of the natural ecosystem and an almost year-round occurrence. This ecosystem fosters a diverse fire-adapted community of plants and animals. Although human caused wildfires far outnumber naturally occurring wildfires within Los Angeles County, both have the potential to create situations where structures in the Wildland Urban Interface can be at risk. All vegetation will burn, even though irrigation has created a deceptively lush landscape of ornamental plants.

Following the loss of lives and structures during the 1993 wildfire season, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors created the Wildfire Safety Panel to offer recommendations that would help reduce the threat to life and property in areas prone to wildfires. One of the recommendations was to follow the findings of the Wildland Urban lnterface Task Force and another was to enforce the provisions of the Bates Bill. Jurisdictional Fire Departments were required to establish a set of guidelines and landscape criteria for all new construction in Fire Hazard Severity Zones. As a result, Fuel Modification Plans became a requirement within Los Angeles County beginning in 1996.

In the areas served by the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, all new construction, remodeling fifty percent or greater, construction of certain outbuildings and accessory structures over 120 square feet, parcel splits and subdivision/developments within areas designated as Fire Hazard Severity Zones will require a Fuel Modification Plan approval before the applicable land division, Conditional Use Permit, or Building Permit will be approved. The County of Los Angeles Fire Department Forestry Division’s Fuel Modification Unit is responsible for processing, reviewing, and approving these plans.

Cal Fire is responsible for the mapping and revisions to all Fire Hazard Severity Zones across the state. These zone designations establish minimum standards for building construction and exterior landscape features in an effort to mitigate the increasing losses from our cycle of wildfire vents. Cal Fire designates the Severity Zones for all State Responsibility Areas (SRAs). In Local Responsibility Areas (LRAs), the jurisdictional county or city determines the Severity Zones with approval from the state that are then adopted by local ordinance or city councils.


Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby: Making History

By | LACoFD News | No Comments

Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby is recognized as the first African-American Fire Chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, carrying on the tradition that began with his father, Robert Osby, who served as the first African-American Fire Chief of of the cities of Inglewood, San Jose, Oceanside, and the second African -American Fire Chief of the City of San Diego.  Read More

Little Lives Continue to be Saved Through Safe Surrender

By | LACoFD News | No Comments

safe surrenderOn Sunday, February 8, at 5:48 a.m., the doorbell rang at Fire Station 45 in the City of Lakewood. At the door was a 40-year old man holding a newborn baby girl. The man had found the newborn abandoned near the Lakewood Mall and brought her to the fire station. Although this event did not meet the criteria of a Safe Surrender, the life of this little girl was saved. She was evaluated by firefighters and found to be in good medical condition.  She was taken to a local hospital for further medical evaluation, and will be placed into a loving adoptive home. Read More


Hazardous Materials Teams Train Together to Improve Response

By | LACoFD News | No Comments

In an effort to be proactive, Hazardous Materials (HM) teams within and adjoining the County of Los Angeles have been planning to meet and train together. They all recognize the potential for a major hazardous materials incident, such as terrorism, that would require more resources than any one agency can handle. Fire Captain Tony Duran credits the Department’s HM Team members for the idea, as it was suggested prior to his arrival into his position as Hazardous Materials Coordinator in April 2014. Read More


Paramedic Training Institute Class 232 Graduates

By | LACoFD News | No Comments

On Wednesday, January 28, Class 232 of the Los Angeles County Paramedic Training Institute (PTI) graduated at El Camino Community College in Torrance. PTI is a division of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, and the EMT-P training program is a collaborative effort between the highly qualified, full-time PTI staff and El Camino Community College. Our Department acknowledges the great sacrifice and hard work by these young men and women. Congratulations and welcome to Class 232: Michael Devine, Tyson Farwell, Michael Mcerlean, Brian Noss, Joe Pena, Christopher Polanco, Christopher Toomey, Sean Travis, Paul Watts, Kevin Welsh, and Matt Williams. We wish you the best as you take this exciting next step in your careers as fire fighter paramedics!


Paying Tribute To Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Brian Kutil

By | LACoFD News, LG News | No Comments

On Thursday, January 15, our Department lost a leader and true hero, Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Brian K. Kutil. Kutil joined our Department as an Ocean Lifeguard in 1994. He worked many years as an Ocean Lifeguard Recurrent (part time) at Santa Monica South, where he shined as a leader amongst his peers. During this time, Kutil was introduced to ocean paddling by his lifeguard friends and exceeded in this sport. Read More


HHMD Opens Doors to the Public

By | LACoFD News | No Comments

On January 7, the Health Hazardous Material Division (HHMD) opened their doors for the first time to the public, providing insight to guests into one of the largest hazardous materials programs in California. Hazardous Material Specialist (HMS) Supervisor Ken Smith spearheaded this event, along with HMS Supervisor Mario Tresierras, to improve awareness and educate the community about how to keep their home and community safe. Read More