FIRE! FIRE! THIS IS A MANDATORY EVACUATION!

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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FIRE! FIRE! THIS IS A MANDATORY EVACUATION!
2021 LAFD [City] Photo of the Year. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Fire Department
What would you do if you had five minutes to pack up and get out of the canyon? Every year around this time, The Canyon Chronicle publishes the voices of our first responders—firefighters, sheriffs, CHP—and those of the many local volunteer organizations—TCEP, Arson Watch, CERT, Neighborhood Networks, Topanga Fire Safe Council, the Town Council and its Access Cards—who provide all the information you need to know to prevent and prepare for fire. For those who have recently moved into the canyon and may not have faced a wildfire firsthand, this is a Call to Action to know the responsibility you have as a resident of our beautiful canyon—which is a county-designated Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (can we say it any more clearly?)—who are dedicated to educating the public about what to do when wildfire threatens the Canyon. On pages 8-9, we have published information with all the tools you need to know about how to prevent, prepare, and plan for a firestorm. You think you know what to do? Contact any one of the agencies and organizations we have listed and see what you can do. For starters, go to page 4, “Events,” and join the Topanga Historical Society’s “members only” field trip to 69 Bravo Helistop on July 31, 10 p.m. Fire Chief Drew Smith, who is an expert on fire behavior with a long history of fighting fires in the Santa Monica Mountains, is guest speaker. You really don’t want to miss this one. You have to join to register at: info@topangahistoricalsociety.org. Carrie Carrier, president of the Topanga Canyon Town Council, is not overstating where Topanga stands when it comes to fire safety. “We are one of the most wildfire-prepared communities in the State, with an unprecedented number of organizations dedicated to keeping the community safe. We nurture a culture of emergency preparedness that has long been sustained by volunteer community groups,” she says. “In 2021, Topanga was certified as a “Firewise” designation. This year, we are on pace to exceed our annual requirements by 400%.” Our gratitude goes out to Ms. Carrier, and many others like her, who are volunteers who work their hearts out to keep the community informed about concerns that we should, as a community, take to heart. The Dog Days of August are Coming (A Good Thing) Want Your Dog’s picture in The Canyon Chronicle? The Chronicle’s August 5 issue begins our annual Dog Days celebration. Since we don’t want to miss those first few days before we officially publish, see how people celebrate dogs on page 12. Maybe it will entice you to submit your dog’s photo and a brief story or poem about what’s so special about your charismatic canine (150 words max). Submit to editor@thecanyonchronicle.com no later than July 28.
Flavia Potenza

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