Officials warn Southern Californians to clear brush, get ready for fire season

Public safety officials reminded Southlanders on Friday, June 14, to be vigilant in clearing brush from their properties during the 2024 wildfire season — and to have evacuation plans in place if needed.

“As we all have witnessed, Mother Nature has complemented us with significant rainfall in Southern California in the last couple of years, which was very much needed throughout the state of California,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Anthony Marrone said at a multi-agency news conference Friday morning at the LACoFD’s headquarters.

“The rain produced large fields of re-vegetation throughout the area, and this year we saw areas that received nearly 200% more rain than usual,” Marrone said. “Unfortunately, this vegetation will soon dry out and become fuel for wildland fires, especially in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley.

Pasadena Deputy Fire Chief Anthony James warns Pasadena residents on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 to clear dry plants and brush away from homes including keeping tree growth five feet from roof lines in the city’s very high fire zones by July 30. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Goats graze on brush near the Reagan library in Simi Valley, CA Friday, April 29, 2022. 350 goats will help clear brush around the library over the next couple of weeks as part of the program by the Ventura County Fire department to clear areas for brush fire season. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

A runner and his dog run through a 3-plus acre piece of unused of land adjacent to the football and baseball fields at Laguna Hills High in Laguna Hills on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. The land has been completely transformed by Laguna Hills cross county coach Chris Lynch and a host of other volunteers. They’ve cleared brush, debris and cut down old trees. They’ve also planted new pepper trees and cacti. The cross country team has used this as part of their course for years. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Pasadena Fire Chief Chad Augustin gave an overview of the best defense against disastrous fires and the homeowners did a walk through home inspection with Deputy Chief, Anthony Jones, to illustrate their concerns this fire season on Friday, May 12, 2023 at the home of Bruce and Sue Porter in the hills surrounding Eaton Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

SuperScoopers from the government of Quebec on display during the Los Angeles County Fire Department annual contract aircraft media day at Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, CA. Wednesday September 7, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)



“That is why we must continue to remain vigilant, and share with residents and communities the importance of being prepared for the wildfires that will come this summer and into the fall, when dangerous Santa Ana winds return. … We can never let our guard down.” Marrone said.

Marrone is the coordinator of the state of California’s Fire and Rescue Region One, which covers the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

“As such, I work with my fire service partners so we can quickly dispatch mutual-aid resources when a large-scale emergency strikes — like a wind-driven wildland fire,” Marrone said. “With our full range of land and air resources available to our five counties 24 hours a day … we want to assure our residents and communities that your firefighters in these five counties are prepared and ready to respond at a moment’s notice.”

Among the other top firefighting officials at the news conference was Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley.

“This morning we spent a lot of time talking about how we are prepared — our partnership, our collaboration with the fire service leaders that are behind me,” Crowley said. “Just as important are our ‘boots on the ground’ and the firefighters that are here that are fully committed to ensuring that we are ready for this upcoming brush season.

“But with that … we all know that it’s going to take much, much more than a prepared fire service — it’s going to take a prepared community as well,” Crowley said.

Crowley urged residents to vigilant in creating a “defensible space” on their properties between buildings and vegetation that could catch fire.

“We have to understand … that will help your local fire service protect lives and property,” Crowley said. “I just want to define what that is: it’s a buffer that you create between a building on your property and the grasses, trees, shrubs, or wildland area that surround it.”

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Crowley noted that the effort to keep property clear of combustibles should continue throughout the year, and not just during wildfire season.

“Wildfire season might peak during certain months — and that’s why we are here today,” Crowley said. “But the risk is present year-round. … Together, we can make this brush fire season safer for everyone.”

Officials also reminded people to have an evacuation plan ready if ordered to leave their properties for safety reasons, including knowing multiple routes out of a neighborhood.

More information is available on brush clearance and other public safety topics at Information on state resources, including grants for residents to help fireproof their properties, is available at Information on general preparedness for wildfires is available at

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