Alert Governor Moonbeam that it wasn’t climate change.
Via LA Times:
The fire that destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in Bel-Air last week was caused by a cooking fire at a nearby homeless encampment, Los Angeles fire officials said Tuesday.
For a “number of years,” homeless people had been living in a camp along Sepulveda Boulevard where it passes under the 405 Freeway, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Peter Sanders said.
Investigators who inspected the encampment found evidence that people had been cooking and sleeping in the area but did not find anyone there, Sanders said. The department has no suspects, he said.
Los Angeles has been struggling in recent years with a major uptick in the homeless population, with encampments spreading out from downtown L.A. into neighborhoods across the city. A report in May put the homeless population in Los Angeles County at 58,000, a 23% increase over the last year.
The count found that the homeless population in the West L.A. service area — which included the Bel-Air and Brentwood neighborhoods — increased from 4,659 to 5,511 in that period.
Officials said the size of the encampment where the blaze started was hard to determine because the area was burned.
“By the time investigators got there everyone was gone,” Peter Sanders, the Los Angeles Fire Department communications director, said.
Almost all the physical evidence at the scene was consumed by the blaze, he added. Investigators were able to eliminate arson as a cause based on was left of the encampment and place of origin of the flames, he added.
The National Park Service estimates that 90% of wildfires across the U.S. are caused by humans.