On Tuesday, a brush fire broke out in the Sepulveda Basin area risking the lives of nearly 100 homeless people. Earlier this month, LA County announced that they plan to force homeless people to leave high-risk fire areas and migrate to hotels or shelter spaces. With this latest fire, many have wondered why they Sepulveda Basin encampment was not disbanded. Mayor Garcetti has stated that conditions need to be hot and dry to force people out of encampments in the brush.
"Homelessness isn't just about the individuals that are there and the tragedy that they are experiencing, but also protecting for the entire city."
Firefighters say they found propane tanks at the site of the fire which exploded during the eruption. Garcetti says the conditions during Tuesday's fire were not bad enough to force people out.
"We have been and we will continue to if necessarily say people they have to go into a shelter or move away from this location if they're unwilling to go to shelter."
He added, "We don't know the cause for sure of this one (fire), but it underscores just how important it is on pubic safety and public health."
A task force has been created to focus on relocating the homeless from these dangerous areas. The team, organized by the Board of Supervisors, is led by the sheriffs department and other public agencies.
"When it comes to public safety and it comes to fire areas, that is a permissible reason for the city to tell people that they cannot be encamped," Garcetti said.