This year, fires that started in homeless camps accounted for 54 percent of fires fought by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), officials agreed-a sharp increase compared to 2020.
As the county struggles with more than 66,000 people living on its streets, critics point to the increasing number of fires caused by the homeless as another sign that officials are not. cause of the crisis. And in parts of the city where the homeless are concentrated, residents and business owners say their concerns have not been heard.
LAFD Capt. Erik Scott told The Epoch Times that the potential dangers in camps come from heating and cooking fires, especially on cold nights.
“One of our concerns is fires in tents where people who have experienced homelessness sleep-where they can be injured or even die-and fires that start in a building and spread throughout the structure. , Said Scott.
“Fires from fires can spread brush to wildland areas, or to adjacent buildings in urban areas or inside vacant buildings.”
He said potential fire hazards will increase significantly on windy days, when fires can spread quickly.
“Using an open flame to cook in any enclosed spaces, especially narrow areas like tents, can easily burn the tent or interior fixtures,” Scott said. In addition, toxic smoke gases can dislodge tent occupants, expelling or killing them.
LAFD Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas recently walked through the Skid Row area of downtown LA with representatives from neighboring business districts to discuss their concerns about the camps. – READ MORE
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