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Preparing for fall fires

Jackson Bell

Although summer is winding down, the threat of brush fires remains in

season.

Fire season officially began June 7, but it’s the period between

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September and November that traditionally poses the most dangerous

fire threat of the year because of Santa Ana winds, Burbank Fire

Capt. Bob Reinhardt said.

“The [weather] conditions are very dry, and when we get the hot

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air and low humidity combination, there is a high chance of fire,”

Reinhardt said.

Fire Marshall Dave Starr said the most frequent causes of brush

fires are a buildup of brush and debris near homes and buildings,

burning cigarettes, careless use of barbecue grills, and arson.

Barbecuers should be careful when grilling during fire season, and

shouldn’t use them at all when conditions are windy.

“When the wind is blowing like that, it dries things up,” he said.

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“And it can carry embers -- small pieces of burning [wood and

charcoal] -- long distances. That can make a dangerous scenario.”

To guard against the possibility of arson, fire officials are

encouraging residents to be report suspicious people or unfamiliar

cars in their neighborhood to authorities, especially since the Brand

Park fire that torched the Verdugo Mountains hillside near the

Burbank border last September was caused by arson.

Officials, meanwhile, continue to emphasize that the approximately

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17,000 residents along the Burbank hillside need to comply with the

brush clearance codes, which requires removing debris within 100 feet

of their property. The department has spent about $70,000 this year

to clear debris from property surrounding city buildings, Starr said.

“If each homeowner makes their home fire-safe, it helps themselves

as well as their neighbors,” he said.


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