New Brush Clearance Requirements for Los Angeles

Thursday, October 18, 2018

LOS ANGELES; The state of California has seen an increase in frequency and size of wildfires, including historic brushfires in the City of Los Angeles such as the La Tuna, Creek, and Skirball fires. Additionally, smaller brushfires have been accidentally started by well intentioned residents performing brush clearance. Therefore, the Los Angeles City Council has approved an ordinance to increase requirements for brush clearance and fire safety in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ). This ordinance establishes appropriate safety measures necessary to mitigate the occurrence of such fires.

Highlights of the new ordinance include:

  • The use of metal cutting blades for grass or brush clearance shall be limited to those which are non-ferrous/non-sparking.
  • Brush clearance cannot be done on Red Flag days, when fire weather conditions are at their peak.
  • Individuals engaged in brush clearance operations shall not engage in any other activities during their actual clearance of grass or brush.
  • An approved fire extinguisher or a pressurized garden hose with an attached nozzle shall be within 10 feet of any grass or brush clearance operation, to quickly extinguish a small fire before it burns out of control.
  • A cell phone capable of dialing 911 shall be charged and readily accessible to the grass or brush clearance operation.

Anyone observed violating these new rules could face hefty fines.

To report violators, contact the Los Angeles Fire Department by calling (800) 994-4444 during office hours (7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, except holidays) or by emailing

Please visit to view the complete list of requirements.

The Ordinance is effective now.

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