Homeless Encampment Leads to Second Fire on L.A.'s Westside

Damon Casarez

Two days after residents of Pacific Palisades were awoken at 3 a.m. by helicopters dropping tons of water onto a rampaging wildfire, another flare up.

Take the driest spell California has seen in up to 1,000 years. Add ballooning homeless rates in Los Angeles and a cold snap in the region, and what you get is a recipe for disaster.

Two days after residents of Pacific Palisades were awoken at 3 a.m. by helicopters dropping tons of water onto a rampaging wildfire, another brush fire has flared up in the area.

The first fire — the result of a campfire at a homeless encampment in the brush off Temescal Canyon Road — consumed 2.5 acres and required 104 firefighters to put out.

Tuesday afternoon's fire was the result of a hotspot lingering from Sunday's fire, according to Los Angeles Fire Department officials at the scene. 

The area currently beset by fires is the same wealthy, Westside enclave visited by The Hollywood Reporter in a recent report on the city's ever-growing homelessness crisis.

The fires do not come as a surprise. On Oct. 7, the LAFD mounted warning signs in the area declaring Palisades Park a "very high fire hazard severity zone," a move met with much fanfare by the neighborhood's homelessness task force.

That task force is privately raising $500,000 toward addressing the estimated 180 homeless currently living in the area. The funds will go toward providing mental health services as well as interim and permanent housing.

 

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