By Jamie Joseph | 30 May 2021
THE EPOCH TIMES — Los Angeles is set ablaze up to 24 times a day. The cause? Thousands of homeless encampments.
This year, fires started in homeless encampments have accounted for 54 percent of the blazes battled by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), according to officials — a sharp uptick compared to 2020.
As the county grapples with more than 66,000 people living on its streets, critics are pointing to the growing number of fires caused by the homeless as another indication that officials are mishandling the crisis. And in parts of the city where the homeless are concentrated, residents and business owners say their concerns are not being heard.
LAFD Capt. Erik Scott told The Epoch Times that potential hazards in encampments come from warming and cooking fires, particularly on cold nights.
“One of our concerns is fires in tents where people experiencing homelessness are sleeping—where they could be injured or even die—and fires that start against a building and spread into the structure,” Scott said. “Flames from those fires can spread into the brush in wildland areas, or to nearby buildings in urban areas or inside vacant buildings.” […]