L.A. Officials OK Plan to Let Police Clear Homeless Encampments From Fire Zones

Firefighters respond to a homeless encampment during a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin on July 30, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Firefighters respond to a homeless encampment during a brush fire in the Sepulveda Basin on July 30, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a plan that would allow police to order homeless people out of encampments during days of high fire risk.

The rules passed unanimously on Wednesday apply to areas with “significant fire hazards” including Griffith Park, the Santa Monica Mountains and swaths of northeast Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

Fire officials map the areas based on multiple factors including vegetation and terrain.

Under the new rules, Los Angeles police officers will ask people to clear out of encampments on days when Red Flag warnings are posted for high fire danger. Workers with the city’s Homeless Services Authority will help place them into shelters.

Those who don’t comply could face a fine or arrest.

Officials will also clean up at encampments to reduce fire risks.

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