Thursday, July 28, 2016

2 Freeway Rosebud Ave Overpass: Trees Showing New Growth After Silver Lake Fire

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, July 27, 2016.  Yesterday, we noticed a lot of new growth (see arrows) sprouting on the Eucalyptus trees on either side of the Rosebud Ave overpass of the 2 Freeway, about 6 weeks after the Silver Lake Fire.  These two trees were still there as of 8:30 AM today.

Considering I witnessed a huge explosion of flames when the fire hit the Rosebud overpass, I'm impressed any of the "smaller" eucalyptus survived.

CalTrans is cutting down trees its tree experts deem unsafe after the fire.  We're looking at a big heat island on the 2 Freeway because so many trees were affected.  Like the Red Car Property, the 2 Freeway is our backyard.  We will continue following the demise and recovery of trees on the freeway as well as the Red Car Property.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2 Freeway: Why We Bitch About Losing Trees

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 12, 2015.  I wanted to compare photos from about the same time of year.  CalTrans hasn't watered the parkways on the 2 Freeway in decades, yet, there was a thriving wall of trees, making living across the street from the 2 Freeway tolerable. The trees also provided habitat for a variety of wildlife. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

A little over a year ago, a car crashed on the 2 Freeway. If it wasn't for one of those enormous trees, it would have flown into the Red Car Property. The fire engine gives a good idea of scale of the trees.  
Photo: Esteban Gonzalez July 21, 2016. Many of the Brazilian Pepper Trees (the mid sized green trees in the first photo)  burned to a crisp in the Silver Lake Fire due to landscape management practices that allowed the build up of dry understory.

The super green trees in middle of frame, in post-fire shots, are in a neighbors' front yards, not on the freeway.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, July 27, 2016.  Stumps are gone and we'll likely lose a few more Eucalyptus from this section  of the 2 Freeway, adjacent to Corralitas Drive. Today they removed more large trees from between the north and south bound lanes.

CalTrans policy is not to replace landscaping due to statewide drought restrictions on watering.  These homes are less than 75' from the southbound lanes of the 2 Freeway.  At the urging of Assemblymember Mike Gatto, CalTrans is now looking into options for landscape solutions across from these homes on Corralitas Drive. However, from my experience, residents must actively engage CalTrans to make anything happen.

We hope the very large Eucalyptus at the corner of Allesandro and Rosebud where the hawks nest year after year, will remain intact as it was one of the few trees in our corridor  not damaged by the heat or the flames of the Silver Lake Fire.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Red Car Property: New Growth

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, July 15, 2016.  Protected native California Black Walnut Trees on the Red Car Property have been sprouting not only new leaves, but a substantial number of flowers too.  Some of the new leaves and flowers are even on the same stem where the leaves went brown almost immediately after the Silver Lake Fire. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, July 15, 2016.  If you look closely at the above photo, you can see lots of flowers about to bloom. 
We are all tired of so many depressing photos of brown trees that did not burn in the Silver Lake Fire, yet were "cooked" by the heat. It is a relief to receive photos from multiple Red Car Property neighbors of the native California Black Walnuts Trees acting as if it were spring again. 
Photo: Vandiveer, enlarged from previous photo.  Those green blobs are walnuts that would ordinarily look more like this.
Photo: Stephanie Bartron, July 12, 2016.  Bartron, Red Car Property neighbor, garden designer and co-author of The Drought Tolerant Garden Handbook for Los Angeles County, noted the pattern of growth appeared typical per studies of California native tree recovery after wildfire.  Native trees evolved with our drought/deluge/fire seasons.

The new growth sprouted close to the Black Walnut Trees' trunks.  The dry leaves will drop and serve as mulch on the denuded slope.  So much water was poured onto the slope fighting the fire that all the burned grass, foliage and topsoil were washed off the steep slope.  The mulch of dry leaves is necessary to help the soil retain moisture and put nutrients back into the soil.

Bartron advises consulting a certified arborist if your trees were damaged in the Silver Lake Fire.  Considering CalTrans is clear cutting portions of the 2 Freeway near the Red Car Property, we need to save as many trees as possible to help counter the effects of air pollution. 

Last fall, it was even more odd when the Black Walnuts were simultaneously dropping leaves and walnuts while blooming

We'll be following the recovery of trees from the Silver Lake Fire.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

18 Acre Elysian Park Parcel: Sand Fire

Photo: Esteban Gonzalez, July 22, 2016. Friday afternoon, smoke and ash from the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita became the dominant feature in our air quality, growing worse overnight.

Most people don't realize the vacant lot at the northern terminus of Echo Park Ave is a part of Elysian Park.  The "18 Acre Parcel" continues downslope in both directions, preserves native oak and walnut habitat and includes a basketball court on Riverside Drive.  The parcel, like much of Elysian Park, is directly surrounded by diverse residential neighborhoods, including Elysian Valley, Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract and Elysian Heights.  It was acquired by the City in the late 1990s using Prop K funds.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Red Car Canyon: Silver Lake Fire Could Have Been Worse

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 25, 2016.  The large palm tree in was among the the once dense overgrowth of trees and shrubs on the Lake View side of Red Car Canyon.  Some neighbors routinely cleared and removed brush 10' back from their fence on the Red Car Property. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Over the years many eucalyptus trees went down in this part of the canyon. The dead tree on the ground here, went down in 2010.   Eucalyptus also seem to go down or drop large branches in the summer months throughout the neighborhood too.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  In 26 years I had never seen so much daylight through the Lake View side of Red Car Canyon. You can see just how close the fire came to homes on Lake View.  LAFD was able to stop the fire before it reached homes on Lake View with a combination of precise water drops from helicopters, crews on the ground both on Lake View and on the Red Car Property.
Photo: Lake View Neighbor, June 16, 2016.  Wildland fire crews armed with shovels, pick axes and chainsaws went in after  helicopter water drops to reduce the vegetation.  It seemed these crews were everywhere the day of the fire where the temperature before the fire was already 106 degrees.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016.  Like the trees throughout the Red Car Property near the fire, almost all the trees are brown, but many are showing signs of life with fresh growth.  Neighbors are wondering when the Red Car Property owner will do brush clearance which should include trimming trees and brush. 

A check of the LAFD Brush Unit's website indicates, somehow, the two Red Car Property lots that were on fire 6-19-16 were both inspected a few days before the fire and were somehow in compliance? Everyone who lives nearby had been asking me when the lots would be cleared.  Nothing was done prior to, nor after the fire. If you live adjacent to the Red Car Property and are concerned about the dry brush, report the hazard to LAFD.  It often helps to send photos.  Be sure you include your address & phone so they can find which part of the property you are talking about: http://www.lafd.org/fire-prevention/brush/report-hazard 
 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

2 Freeway: CalTrans Taking Down Really Big Trees

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, July 21, 2016.  Wednesday, CalTrans began cutting down trees damaged by the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire adjacent to Corralitas Drive.  According to Vandiveer, "a worker said that they're not removing all of them 'just the ones that burned.'"  Of course very few of the big Eucalyptus actually burned, they mostly just got toasted from the extreme heat of the fire.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 21, 2016.  It's hard to get a sense of scale of just how big the trees were that CalTrans removed were. We'll be looking at those photos over the coming days.  But those two large stumps (when they were trees) on the right stopped cars from flying into the Red Car Property last year as there are no guard rails on most of this slope.

Red Car Property: Lots Of Tree Activity Today

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, July 21, 2016.  One month after the Silver Lake Fire, It appears someone the DWP may be trimming trees around above the power lines on the Lake View side (left side of photo) of the Red Car Property.  Neighbors were unable to confirm.

We  received word from CD13 yesterday that DWP was in the area and would be assessing the poles on the slope above the Red Car Property.  DWP will be replacing at least one.  Neighbors expressed increasing concern to CD13 regarding the power lines in the trees that were now drying out after the fire.  Some neighbors have also had difficulty in getting answers from the DWP, when attempting follow up with DWP regarding trees and powers lines.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  This photo was taken the day after the fire, compare it with today's photo.  Many of the trees on either side of the canyon did not catch fire, but are suffering from the extreme heat of the fire.  Almost all are now exhibiting new growth.  The California Black Walnuts in particular are coming back quickly.  (We will be following the trees' recovery from fire.)

Red Car Canyon: Falling Trees Ahead

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 9, 2016.  This pine tree has finally gone beyond a 45 degree angle. That's not a branch, it's the whole tree. The only thing holding it up is another pine tree on the opposite side of the trail.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 9, 2016.  The large tree at the Charles Lacy Memorial seems to have died this winter.  Perhaps it just couldn't take another year of drought.  Bees used to love this tree.  It used to host some pretty cool mushrooms too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Red Car Property: Trees Possibly Not Dead, Just Cooked From Heat Of 6-19-16 Silver Lake Fire

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016. So many of the trees were damaged my the extreme heat of the Silver Lakefire.  They were still green for a few days after the fire, but turned brown within days or weeks.  Rather than dwell on this section of trees individually, you can see from the very last photo in this post what the canyon looked like the day after the fire.  (Click on photos to enlarge)

You may remember the tree above as being quite lush when some homeless took up residence for a few days beneath it, just over one year ago.  In fact it was looking good the day after the fire despite the weeds burning right up to it (and all of the trees in this post).
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016.  The Chinese Elm at the rocky outcropping at the start of the Canyon has also been a popular dumping ground for dishwashers and computers in the past.  This enormous tree drops its leaves for winter and like almost all of the other trees is already showing signs of new growth. Dropping leaves is beneficial because it would help mulch the now denuded slopes in the burn area.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016.  The huge amount of water poured on the fire to keep it from spreading to homes is most likely benefiting the mature well established trees.  Prior to the fire, many of those mature trees were looking really good despite the prolonged drought.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016.  This was a particularly densely overgrown part of Red Car Canyon we'll be revisiting in a future post.  Suffice to say, in 26 years in the neighborhood, I'd never seen so much daylight here before.  As usual, brush clearance had not yet happened prior to or since the fire.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016. If you see trees growing into the power lines or power lines down, call 1-800-DIAL-DWP.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016.  If you have trees that look like they've had the life drained out of them, consult a certified arborist.  Established trees can recover from fire.  This was not a major fire thanks to the quick work of LAFD and their partner agencies, LA County Fire and Glendale Fire.

If you live off the Red Car Property and brush has not been cleared, see LAFD website for details and contact LAFDBrush@lacity.org

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  If you routinely walk the Red Car Property, you should be able to identify many of the trees in this week's posts and how things used to look, even just a month ago. The photo above was taken the morning after the fire.  It shows how close the flames got to fences before being extinguished. The trees were still green and the huge volume of water had already washed a lot of the black soot off of the slopes.  (And AT&T was already on the Red Car Property assessing the damage to their lines that run along the Red Car Property's property line in the middle  the slope.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Red Car Canyon: Eucalyptus Drying Out Fast

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 8, 2016.  A huge Eucalyptus tree that went down in during a storm in the 1990s and continued to grow, is not looking so good a month after the June 19, 2016, Silver Lake Fire
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  One day after the fire it was a little toasted but still had a lot of green on it.  

We've seen the same pattern with all the trees either in or very close to the fire.  It is as if they've suffered burns from the extreme heat, and a month later they're dropping their leaves.  Yet, at the same time they're sprouting new growth and even flowers.  

Native trees are drought/fire/deluge adapted, but I've not researched the non-natives.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, January 3, 2003.  It's easy to forget just how big the trees are when no one is in the pictures.  Considering how long this tree has persisted in Red Car Canyon, despite its non-native status, it would be a shame to lose such a survivor.  

The kids in the 2003 photo still live in the neighborhood and are in high school and college now.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Red Car Property: Coyote Encounter - It's The One You Don't Get On Video...

Last Friday, Gary Vlahakis was out for an early morning run on the Red Car Property when he saw a coyote come down through the dry brush from Adelbert. He managed to get two coyotes on video ahead of him on the trail.  You see his dog, who is deaf, stay obediently stay by his side.  But the story of the video he DID NOT get is even more amazing...

The first thing I said was where's the third coyote?  Vlahakis responded, 

"As we were approaching the little trail that goes up to Adelbert I saw what I thought was a little doggie at the bottom....barking and barking!!!  When we got within 30’ or so I realized it was a coyote, but it just stayed there and kept barking so i started taking a video (I thought). About 30 seconds later I thought something was odd so I turned around and a bigger coyote was sneaking up behind us. And I’m thinking 'this will be an incredible video!'  The coyote was coming right at us when turned but angled off and circled around us to meet the other and they went up the little trail. It never was more than 15’ away as it went by."  

The video didn't record.  Of course anyone who's ever tried to capture a wildlife encounter on the fly, on your phone, has had a similar mishap with recording video.  I know I have. You just shoot and hope for the best.  I've learned to stick to stills and multiple images because I can rarely make the video work in such situations.

Keep your dogs on leash, keep your cats indoors, don't leave food debris outside.  Keep your trash and recycle bins closed at all times.  Get your brush clearance done.  Don't give coyotes a place to hide in your yard.  If there are neighboring lots that haven't been cleared of brush (like the Red Car Property) report them to LAFDBrush@lacity.org You can look up more info on brush clearance: http://www.lafd.org/fire-prevention/brush

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Red Car Property: Not A Park, Most Of It Still Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June16, 2016.  Fewer than two acres of the Red Car Property were on fire a month ago.  Most of it is still in need of brush clearance.  The protected native Coast Live Oak (to the right of the trail) and California Black Walnut Trees are doing well on the meager rain we got this year.  While the property is still dotted with dead and dying eucalyptus, it's not as bad as the last couple of years.

Report brush clearance violations to LAFDBrush@lacity.org.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Red Car Property: Native Blue Elderberries Following Now Familiar Pattern

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, July 9, 2016.  A large native Blue Elderberry on the Corralitas Drive side of the Red Car Property, did not catch fire in the July 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire, but has since turned brown and is quickly dropping its leaves.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  The morning after the fast moving fire, the Blue Elderberry was still green except around the lower branches. Since the 2 to 3 foot tall dry grass burned all around the tree, I was surprised to see any green left on the tree.  There were even berries still on the tree.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 14, 2016.  This tree conserves its water so well in drought conditions, they appeared to be dying off  throughout the neighborhood last summer.  Then we got 3" of rain in one day in July September 2015.  These hardy natives recover from major wildland fires, so we should see them return to the south end of the Red Car Property too. 

Read More: 
Cal Flora
US Forest Service

Disclaimer: The Corralitas Red Car Property Blog prefers to quote reliable sources, such as CalFlora and California Poison Control on the issue of toxicity.  We often get email suggesting some plants are edible. If you are eating your way through the Red Car Property, we DO NOT recommend you eat any plant you find in the Red Car Property neighborhood without first doing your own research.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Red Car Property: Photos Pretty Much Say It All

Photo: Diane Edwardson June 6, 2016.  The native trees (downslope from the dying Eucalyptus and the complete right side of frame) looked  spectacular earlier in June.  (Click on photos to enlarge)  

The non-native invasive Castor Beans at the lowest point, at base of the slope were 4 to 6' tall.  Brush clearance had not yet been done, nor had it been done by the date of the fire.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, June 19, 2016.  Fire crews stayed on scene for about 24 hours to ensure hot hot spots didn't spark new fires.  Hard to tell at this point, but most of the native trees were still green, just a little crispy around the edges.  All the combined helicopter water drops and ground crews manning hoses not only saved homes, but may have helped save the trees in the long term.
Photo: Diane Edwardson June 20, 2016.  One day after the fire,  large protected native Coast Live Oak,  halfway up the slope, was mostly green. 
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, July 9, 2016. Three weeks later and even the native trees that did not burn in the fire, but fried in the extreme heat of the fire.  Mature native trees can survive major wildland fires in Southern California, so we hope they'll recover from the 2016 Silver Lake Fire. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Red Car Property: Trees That Did Not Burn In June 19 Fire, Are Brown Now

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2016Two months ago, the California Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oak were thriving (very close to the site of the small 2014 fire).  The same three trees appear in all photos in this post  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, June 19, 2016. The  Silver Lake Fire blackened the hillside and cleared the weeds, but it did not burn most of the mature trees.  It didn't even burn the younger Black Walnuts, cut down and pushed down the hill a year ago.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  Neighbors were surprised to see so much green on the trees the day after the fire.  Even some of the small Black Walnuts were regrowing near the ground  and tree trunks since the small October 2014 fire.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, July 9, 2016.  Almost all of the trees on the south end pf the Red Car Property have suddenly gone brown. 

Native California trees evolved to survive our drought/fire/deluge seasons.  Turning brown is their way of conserving energy and water - sucking the green/moisture out of the leaves and back to their trunks and roots while they recover from the extreme heat of the fire.  The leaves will eventually fall and mulch the ground around the tress, but in the meantime it's a bit scary due to the high fire risk the pose.

The native trees will likely recover.  However, many non-native species on the Red Car Property, adjacent properties and the 2 Freeway were also affected.  Best advice so far: consult a licensed arborist with experience in post-fire recovery of trees and if you have them - native trees.
 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Red Car Property & Adjacent Lots: Trees Not Looking Good 3 Weeks After Silver Lake Fire

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, July 9, 2016.  Do you know where your property lines are?  The entire neighborhood is still at risk from the now dry trees on and adjacent to the Red Car Property and the 2 Freeway.  Scroll down to the last photo for what this scene looked like before the June 19, 2016, Silver Lake Fire.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  A day after the fire, it just looked like too good a job of brush clearance was done on the slope as the ash washed away by the sheer volume of water that was poured on site to keep flare ups at bay.

The non-native pine, palm and eucalyptus trees did not fare well.  However there was hope since the native Coast Live Oak, Black Walnut and even Blue Elderberries as well as even some of the hardier non-natives still had a lot of green leaves on their branches the next day. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 19, 2016.  When the smoke cleared you could see daylight through trees where you'd never seen it before.  After the fire was out, everyone was just grateful to still have homes on Lake View, Silver Ridge, Riverside Place and Corralitas Drive. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 21, 2016.  As we've now seen, failure to do brush clearance puts the entire neighborhood at risk.  There's a reason the LAFD calls it the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ).  Seriously, brush clearance is not just about clearing the dry grass.  It's about trimming the trees up from the ground and proximity of shrubs to combustible structures like wooden fences and sheds. 

Have your  trees assessed by a certified arborist.  Since the trees did not initially burn in the fire, at least the native Coast Live Oaks and California Black Walnuts should survive.  We just need to manage the trees responsibly, so we don't have increased fire risk and we don't cause more harm to the trees while they recover.  This was not a major wildland forest fire.  After the last fire in 2014, the Black Walnuts were regenerating. Native trees evolved with our drought/fire/deluge seasons. I am not a tree expert.  You should consult one with a knowledge of fire ecology of native trees.  

Links to post-fire recovery of native trees: 
US Forest Service - Coast Live Oak
UC California - Oak Woodland Management
US Forest Service - CA Black Walnut

We'll be looking at more depressing before/after photos of dry trees in the Silver Lake Fire burn area in the coming days.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Corralitas Drive: Silver Lake Fire
June 19, 2016

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 19, 2016.  I was in the my yard with no view in this direction, but smelled fire.  When I ran up to the street, I saw a wall of dense brown and grey smoke and heard cracking and popping of fire.  I ran a couple hundred feet to the public staircase with some neighbors, and I could not see the houses on the other end of Corralitas Drive.

I knew we were in trouble.  Other neighbors were standing around watching; some were watering down their roofs and trees. I shouted "GO! Get your dogs, kids in the car and LEAVE NOW! That fire is coming this way fast and it's already moving toward the canyon - we won't be able to drive off the hill once it gets to Rosebud!"  Sirens were only just arriving in the neighborhood.  

On Corralitas, no one knew what was on fire because the wall of smoke was so dense. I could briefly see flames heading up the hill toward Lake View/Silver Ridge and it was already on the southbound side of the 2 Freeway in the view above.  Several neighbors took my lead and began knocking on doors to warn neighbors on our way back up to our homes to get our dogs and cats.  

It's no easy feat to run in heavy smoke, wearing flip flops, on one of the hottest days of the year while trying to call and text neighbors, without reading glasses, while having a massive asthma attack.  Yes, it's ok to laugh. In the meantime, half the neighborhood is calling and texting me while I'm knocking on doors, calling and texting key neighbors closest to the fire who could get the word out on Lake View and Riverside Place.  Cell phone lines were  jammed.   I grabbed my hard drive, inhaler, camera, wallet, water and put on closed-toe shoes and ran down the street with my dog on leash, continuing to knock on doors.  

Meanwhile, large 6 - 8" burning embers were flying up the hill and past either side of my home. 

In less than 10 minutes from that first photo, Rosebud was indeed closed.  The fire was literally exploding on the 2 Freeway median parkways. I arrived at the 2 Freeway as they closed Rosebud.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 19, 2016 after 7PM.  Compare this photo from the Corralitas Public Staircase, taken after the fire with the first photo.
  
Neighbors who did not hesitate, got off the hill that day. No one was injured.  We are so fortunate that the LAFD and their partner agencies were able to expend so many air resources and around 200 firefighters on the Silver Lake Fire.  The fire occurred at a time of day when the winds kick up like clockwork, every day.  Yet only a couple of homes were damaged by fire.  It could have been so much worse.

I suspect it will be along time before neighbors question why we have no parking on several area streets on LA City Fire Dept-called Red Flag Days.

We're reviewing the conditions before, during and after the June 19, 2016, Silver Lake Fire.  While it is a rehashing of old news, well put it in perspective of neighborhood issues, in addition to having it in our collective neighborhood history.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Red Car Property: Film Crew, Dangerous Brush Conditions on May 17, 2016

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2016, 8:20 PM. I sent this photo and a quick email to the Red Car Property owner's rep and CD13, from my phone, of a film crew on the slope at the south end of the Red Car Property.  I also alerted an upslope neighbor to be aware of the fire risk.

The bright white light is behind the first huge eucalyptus tree.  It is definitely on the Red Car Property.  I pointed out brush clearance had not been done.  I got no response from the owner's rep.  It also went up on Twitter.

Less than a week later, the photo was among the batch of Red Car Property photos sent to LAFD Brush Clearance Unit and CD13.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 19, 2016.  The large eucalyptus trees to the left and downslope of the telephone pole, are on the Red Car Property. The film crew's powerful light had been behind and just above the eucalyptus on the lower part of the slope. The eucalyptus appear to be the same species that have been dying quickly throughout the neighborhood.

Worth noting in the above photo, the lush green trees at the base of the lower eucalyptus and in the foreground were (prior to the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire) healthy, protected native Coast Live Oaks and California Black Walnuts.  There's also a large patch of non-native, invasive and highly toxic castor beans at the base of the steep slope.

A month later, the Silver Lake Fire would rip through this area, where brush clearance still had not been done.  By chance, I received a call from Howard Fields, the Red Car Property owner's rep, on June 16, 2016.  I asked him once again to get the brush clearance done.  He said he would be in town on June 20th and deal with a bunch of Red Car Property related issues. He did not respond to email after the fire.

We're reviewing the conditions before, during and after the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Red Car Canyon: Not A Park, Despite Silver Lake Fire, It Still Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016. I'm back from hiatus and will be reviewing before/after photos of the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire in our neighborhood. LAFD along with LA County Fire Dept and Glendale Fire Dept. stopped the fire before it could reach homes on either side of canyon.  It could not have been done without many water drops from helicopters and wildland fire crews armed with shovels and chainsaws (who seemed to be everywhere that day).

Before the depressing fire and neglected brush clearance photos hit, I wanted to remind everyone of how lucky we are to have a trail to walk in our own backyard.  

Responsible urban forest management and brush clearance are so important to not just to protect your own property, but to the safety of the entire hillside neighborhood.  I really want to apologize for not posting my usual round of brush clearance photos throughout May and June.  Due to a variety of circumstances I was unable to post to the blog.  However, I was Tweeting throughout the past two months, particularly after an incident with a film crew on May 17, 2016.  

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