A large fire broke out a two story vacant residential building on Sunset Blvd tonight at about 11pm.
The fire was just east of La Cienega, near the old Petersen building. Traffic was diverted off Sunset until about 12:30am.
Fire department crews responding reported that the structure was fully involved in fire upon arrival. The fire was so severe that crews were reporting unstable floors.
Smoke could be smelled from blocks away, along with the sounds of chainsaws cutting open the building.
The fire is suspicious, possibly set by a transient, according to initial information via the fire department. An arson investigation appears to be likely.
Trucks from Beverly Hills and possibly the City of Los Angeles were on the scene to assist the Los Angeles County Fire Department units based here in West Hollywood.
Construction Worker Falls Down Embankment in Hollywood Hills
HOLLYWOOD HILLS — At 7:20AM on April 13, 2020 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to reports of a person down a hillside in the 6900 block of W Oporto Drive in Hollywood, in the Outpost Estates neighborhood.
Firefighters arrived to find an approximately 30yo male construction worker who fell 30-40 feet down a steep hillside (about 45 degrees).
Firefighters used a two line rope system to safely reach the patient, packaged him into a litter basket and then walked the litter basket back up the hillside.
Due to limited access for fire apparatus and the position of the incident/vehicles, crews used a civilian vehicle as an anchor point for the capston winch (owner on scene and aware). The change of direction was route via the nearest engine and the patient was safely raised back up the hillside and transported to the hospital.
The patient suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital.
Cal-OSHA notified as per protocol for workplace injury. No further details were provided.
The incident was handled by Fire Station 41; Battalion 5; West Bureau; Council District 4; BC5 E227 E41 E482 E76 EM18 EM5 HR3 RA27 RA76 T27 UR88; CH7; 12;
The Golden State is Living America’s Dystopian Future
by Stehanie Lemenager for The Conversation
CALIFORNIA — The Golden State is on fire, which means that an idea of American utopia is on fire, too.
Utopias are the good places of our imagination, while dystopias are the places where everything goes terribly wrong, where evil triumphs and nature destroys her own. Frequently utopias and dystopias are the same place, because perfection may not be possible without someone suffering.
Ursula LeGuin writes about this paradox in “ The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas ,” a story about the moral dilemma of living in a city called Omelas whose prosperity is made possible by one child’s pain. As the story’s title makes clear, most people don’t walk away from the beautiful place, even when its secret is known.
California often finds itself the Omelas of the American imagination. For some, it’s the beautiful place where having it all means shafting someone else, as in Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown,” about Los Angeles’ theft of water from the Owens Valley. Or as in the magical theme park, Disneyland, which substantially underpays some of its workers.
The novelists Octavia Butler, Edan Lepucki, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Paolo Bacigalupi and Claire Vaye Watkins are among the many who have imagined the Golden State as a dystopian novel. In their novels, California is either on fire, in extreme drought or both. They all picture California’s descent as a combination of climate crisis and social unrest.
For these authors, climate change hints at the dark secret of the perfect place, of bad decisions that all America shares. Their novels suggest that if California looks like a dystopia before other American places, that’s because it’s often in the lead.
“California is America fast-forward,” sociologist Manuel Pastor says.
‘Ecology of fear’
The wildfires that ravage California light up America’s screens with terror. Suburban homes are stripped to their foundations; Samaritans lead horses from burning barns.
The historian Mike Davis reminds us that California has long seemed an “ecology of fear” for Euro-Americans. Settlers from Northern Europe and the East Coast did not understand Southern California’s climate, which is prone to unpredictability and drought.
“It is Walden Pond on LSD,” Davis writes, meaning that it is a psychedelic version of American nature spots like Walden Pond, in New England.
The unfamiliarity of California’s climate led to poor decisions about where to build from the start. Now Californians, like most western Americans, live too close to their wildlands, which are drying into tinderboxes.
“In the United States, there are now more than 46 million single family homes, several hundred thousand businesses, and 120 million people living and working in and around the country’s forests,” writes the journalist Edward Struzik, in “Firestorm,” his book about “how wildfire will shape our future.”
America has created the combustible environment called intermix, where residential and commercial uses spill into wildlands. America craves inexpensive electricity, too, which means that overhead power lines run through forests and chaparral.
Overhead lines have sparked some of the worst recent fires in California and other American places like New Mexico and Tennessee.
California utility company PG&E estimates the cost for converting overhead to underground lines at US$3 million per mile. While cost estimates vary, such a project surely will be expensive and might take a century to complete.
Overhead infrastructure wasn’t made for extreme weather, like the estimated 80 mph winds that inspired a rare “extreme red flag” warning in Southern California.
Pleasure in the state’s demise
On fire, California is a dystopian novel that the rest of America reads avidly, and at times with schadenfreude, that feeling of joy that a person may take in another’s suffering.
California ranks as one of the happiest states in the U.S., at number 13. But California came in last in a 2012 poll on which states Americans like.
Maybe it’s the happiness that annoys others, which some perceive as phony (“tofu,” “silicone” and “dyed hair,” said Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, about what is wrong with California).
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments! When California was on fire in 2018, with thousands missing and dozens dead, President Donald Trump tweeted that the state mismanaged its forests. He tweeted the same thing during the recent fires, with more force. Schadenfreude? Arguably, the nation is struggling to address the fire challenges of the intermix, and California is ahead of the rest.
California supposedly is most hated by conservatives. But it nurtured the careers of conservative icons Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh, plus a pair of conservative ballot measures, Prop 13 and Prop 187, that cut taxes as well as services to immigrants.
It is also the birthplace of modern progressive movements, from the United Farm Workers to environmentalism. California has been a seedbed of American political passions, to the Right and Left. Perhaps that’s why it arouses passion – and envy.
Confronting the secret
Dystopian thought criticizes what it loves in an attempt to make it better.
If California is living a dystopian novel, it is also a first responder to the fires of a changing planet.
Some of the state’s utility companies are getting smarter about infrastructure fixes. Evacuations are going better in the places where evacuations happened before. Californians voted in a landmark cap-and-trade bill to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and now they are trying to improve on it.
The state’s climate policy and renewed support for investment in public education signal that it is getting past the nation’s racial generation gap, where older white voters don’t see themselves in a demographically browner youth and resist funding them.
Living in Omelas means either compromising with injustice or learning how to make the world better before others even know that it’s broken.
Stephanie Lemenager is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oregon.
The Conversation publishes knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence from academics and researchers in order to inform public debate with facts, clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
Trash Fire in Lookout Mountain Area Quickly Extinguished
LAUREL CANYON — The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a report of a brush fire off Lookout Mountain on Friday night but determined the incident was actually a trash fire.
The call was dispatched around 8:10PM to 8194 W Lookout Mountain Ave, in the Fire Department’s Hollywood Hills West area. It was said to be a 20′ x 20′ spot fire in the brush on the hillside. There were no structures threatened.
An LAFD update at 8:30PM said that once firefighters were able to make their way to the fire with hand lines, it was determined to be a large rubbish fire and no brush involved. Two engines handled the incident and numerous other trucks dispatched were released.
The incident was handled by Fire Station 97; Battalion 14; Valley Bureau; Units dispatched: BC14 BC5 E108 E227 E27 E278 E290 E41 E58 E76 E97 EM14 H1 H4 H5 HA1 HA4 HA5 RA97 T27 T78 T90.
No injuries reported. No further details were provided.
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This Just In…
- Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
- RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
- Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
- Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day