Saturday, June 10, 2017

Red Car Property: Why We Bitch About Brush Clearance

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor June 6, 2017.  Aside from the potential risk of fire fueled by dry weeds and  unrestricted vehicle access to the Red Car Property, there are other risks both on the Red Car Property and adjacent lots.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

 1. Several adjacent Lake View Ave, Silver Ridge Ave and Corralitas Drive neighbors have failed to do their brush clearance.  There is a large Castor Bean forest growing on one Lake View Ave lot.  Castor Bean Plants are non-native, highly invasive.  All parts of the plant are extremely toxic and emit a toxic gas when burned (Ricin).  Castor Beans will take over entire hillsides, quickly crowding out any native species.  

The power lines in the middle of the slope run along the property line between the Red Car Property and adjacent Lake View and Silver Ridge lots.

2. At least one telephone pole (see arrow in photo above) appears bowed or bent.  With fires in 2014 and 2016, neighbors wonder if the pole has been weakened and needs replacing. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 16, 2016.  Several neighbors spent months after the 2016 fire getting the runaround from DWP and AT&T regarding the status of the pole.  Nothing ever seems to have been resolved.

3. There are several large dead and dying trees near the power lines including what's left of one pine tree leaning at a 45 degree angle (see first photo).  The trees appear to be on the adjacent Lake View lots.  In April, DWP contractors trimmed trees under and within 10' of the high voltage lines in the Red Car Canyon.  However, Eucalyptus can collapse months after the rainy season, usually in July and August.  At least one of the two big dead trees on the slope is Eucalyptus and perilously close to a telephone pole that has a transformer on top (see first photo). 

The first photo does show one positive thing.  The protected native Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oak, along with other large trees are recovering from the 2016 Silver Lake Fire.