Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Red Car Canyon: Owner Files For Zone Change, Yet Still Has Not Done Brush Clearance

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016.  The Red Car Property owner's son filed for a zone change to allow for 49 units on the south end of the Red Car Property, yet he's done none of the routine brush clearance nor clean up of the dry trees after the June 19, 2016, Silver Lake Fire.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

LAFD's coordinated the multi agency response including air,  ground and Hot Shot fire crews  and stopped the fire as it reached the edge of the slope on the Lake View side of the Red Car Property, damaging neighbors' fences and landscaping.  Many trees that did not burn in the fire, suffered severe heat damage. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016.  Most of the native trees will return to the slopes.  If you look closely on the slope, beyond the pile of dead palm fronds, you can see bright green leafy plants sprouting.  In the above photo, those are all California Black Walnuts returning to the slope where they were growing before the fire.  

In recent years, Southern California has suffered so many large scale and much hotter fires than the small Silver Lake Fire, there is no shortage of studies of fire recovery of native oak and walnut woodland.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016.  Compare this photo with the before and after fire photos.  Many of these trees are still alive, but should be trimmed back to reduce the risk of fire.  

During the Silver Lake Fire, many neighbors reported seeing 6 - 8" burning embers flying past their hillside homes on Roselin, India, Lake View and Corralitas.  So it is not asking too much to clean up the fire hazard.  

Most hillside homeowners get their brush clearance done every year by May 1, rather than have to deal with the hassles and fines from the LAFD Brush Unit.  The current Red Car Property owner has never cleared brush by May 1.  It usually gets Red Tagged by the LAFD Brush Unit and cleared sometime in the fall, after months of complaints by neighbors.

Considering the brush clearance had not been done anywhere on the Red Car Property before May 1, neighbors have the right to expect brush clearance now that Santa Ana Wind Season is upon us.  Brush clearance is a year round responsibility.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016.  This stand of bamboo and dry yuccas is just north of the burn area, right up against a fence and telephone pole on the Lake View side of in Red Car Canyon.  We've been reporting it for years to CD13 and LAFD Brush Unit.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016.  In 26 years of living in the neighborhood, I have never seen Red Car Canyon so dry.  I've never seen so much daylight in the wooded canyon.  The number of dead and dying trees in this part of the property is at an all time high.  There are power lines directly above and parallel with the wooden fence in the background (Lake View side).  The tree in the foreground, died prior to the fire (which was stopped about 75' south of this shot).

This is just a portion of the problem in the canyon area.  The only parts of the Red Car Property that have been cleared of brush are where neighbors have cleared it back from their fences and adjacent to the 14 home development on Riverside Drive.

Click here for all our brush clearance posts.