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Brush clearance deadline passes as fire burns near Vasquez Canyon homes

Posted: June 1, 2012 6:23 p.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 6:23 p.m.

A brush fire blackened an acre of land near Highway 14 Friday, a reminder that the deadline has passed for homeowners to bring their yards into compliance with county brush clearance requirements.

The fire just before 2 p.m. on the northbound side of Highway 14 north of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area burned within 500 feet of homes in the area before firefighters extinguished it, fire and California Highway Patrol officials said.

County brush clearance requirements call for all flammable vegetation be mowed or cut to a stubble height of 3 inches for 50 feet around any structure. The fire break should be extended to 200 feet by clearing, trimming, thinning, cutting back and removing flammable vegetation.

Now that the deadline for brush clearance is past, inspectors will begin checking for compliance throughout the county. More than 40,000 homes will be inspected.

During brush clearance inspections, firefighters visit homes to inspect for weeds, combustible debris and dead or dying vegetation that may present a potential fire hazard. Homeowners whose properties do not meet the requirements may be fined.

Fire officials urged residents who do their own brush clearance to work in early morning hours when humidity is high and temperatures are low.

"We've had a number of fires over the years due to residents clearing their brush in high temperatures and low humidity," Los Angeles County Fire Department Deputy Chief John Todd said in a statement. "Many fires are accidentally started by the sparking of metal tools and blades during the hottest part of the day."

For details about brush clearance, call the Brush Clearance Unit at 626-969-2375 or a local fire station.

Delete - Merge UpFor more details about the county's brush clearance requirements, visit:



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