LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There have been reports of fires being intentionally set in the Venice area, and so officials are rolling out a vehicle to patrol the area and take action if necessary. So far, this response has not been well-received.
“How about like 50 of those?” one resident asked.
The issue appears to be tied to some homeless encampments, officials said.
The LAFD’s Fast Response Vehicle, which is staffed by paramedics and can treat minor to moderate injuries, also has a water tank and hoses to put out small fires.
This change is part of a response to residents reaching out demanding action after a series of homeless campfires threatened homes in the area.
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“I look at the LAFD app and you know the other day there were five intentional fires in Venice in one day,” said Phillip Tasker. “There’s people torching cars.”
The Venice Stakeholder’s Association says it found at least 28 major fires connected to the unhoused since June 2018. The organization recently sent a letter to the city demanding help and asking for buffers between homeless encampments and homes and businesses.
“We foresee that if the city doesn’t act, clearly we’ll see a loss of life here in Venice,” Mark, of the Venice Stakeholder’s Association, said.
Last month, L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors decided in a 4-1 vote, that they’ll reconsider the 47 strategies that drive the county’s response to the unhoused population.
City of L.A. Mayor Garcetti proposed a budgetary plan in the next fiscal year that would see nearly $1 billion go toward battling homelessness.
The 2020 Greater L.A. Homeless Count recorded 66,433 people living on the streets of L.A. County, a 12.7% increase from the previous year.