Why We Fight.

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It isn’t difficult to predict the inevitable.

Tuesday morning Bel-Air was reminded of the dangers we face as emergency sirens filled our streets and helicopters began to hover above. Just before 10AM, a fire broke-out at the 1005 Bel-Air Road construction site, engulfing the entire second floor of the project.  Nearly fifteen fire and life-safety vehicles responded, including a helicopter making a midair water drop to stop the flames from spreading.  To say that LAFD did an amazing job would be an understatement.  They responded and had the fire under control in 30 minutes, and the damage was held to the construction site. 

In the end, a home was destroyed, a fireman spent two days in the hospital, and residents were trapped north of the fire during the blaze.  But it could have been much worse.  We’ve all tuned into the news and hear the tragic stories coming out of Northern California.  Some even remember the 1961 Bel-Air fire which decimated nearly 500 homes.  We often believe it won’t happen to us, until it does.

Just recently the Bel-Air Association fought to have parking along this very stretch of Bel-Air Road removed and limited due to safety issues.  Parking on blind curves and heavy construction traffic were making a dangerous combination. Though as hard as it is to believe, there were many who fought the idea.  Parking it seemed was much more important.  However, despite push-back from some, the City listened and the restrictions were posted two months ago.  Had Bel-Air Road been jammed with parked trucks and equipment, Tuesday mornings fire could have had a different ending for many.  We’ve now been reminded yet again to put safety above convenience, as we never know when an emergency will occur in our hillside community.  

The Association would like to hold a community wide meeting in November, with safety and emergency preparedness being a part of that agenda.  We will be sending out notification, and hope you will come join us. 

Link to LAFD History — The Bel Air Fire, November 6, 1961 - Revisited

Sonoma County Sheriff Body Cam - evacuation video

Santa Rosa Video:  Woman Flees California Wildfire on Bike With 70 Pound Dog in Her Duffel Bag

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