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Fire Moves to Granada Hills, Mayor Declares Local Emergency

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As the Sesnon Fire reached around 10,000 acres, heading into Granada Hills and prompting new evacuations near O'Melvany Park, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared a local emergency late this morning. Such declarations can be made when Villaraigosa finds that an event reaches a magnitude beyond the control of the normal services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the departments within the City government, according to the Mayor's Office.

“In declaring a Local Emergency for the City of Los Angeles, I have made all City resources available to fighting the fires, helping Angelenos with their loss and preparing for State and Federal disaster assistance,” Mayor Villaraigosa said of the declaration which went into effect immediately.

Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency. A complete copy of the local declaration follows:

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By virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Los
Angeles, under Section 8.27 of the Administrative Code and other
provisions of City and State law, I hereby find that:

The City of Los Angeles continues to experience the Marek and Sesnon
wildland fires driven by dry conditions and high winds;

Hundreds of individuals have been evacuated to nearby shelters during
the fire(s);

The impact to public safety resources and personnel continues to be

There has been significant damage to property in and around the
wildland fire(s) boundaries. Homes, businesses, and other structures
have burned;

The Office of the Governor of California has declared State of
Emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties due to the wildland
fire(s); and

The magnitude of the conditions resulting from the multiple wildland
fire(s) are such that they are likely to become beyond the capability of
normal services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the regularly
constituted branches and departments of the City government; and

NOW THEREFORE, I hereby declare the existence of a local emergency and
direct the Emergency Operations Organization (EOO) to take such steps
that are necessary for the protection of life and property in the
affected areas.

I FURTHER DIRECT that all City Departments impacted by the fire and its
ongoing effects continue to conduct damage assessments and collect cost
estimates for the purpose of State and Federal disaster assistance.

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I FURTHER REQUEST that the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors
declare a local emergency.

I THEREFORE DIRECT that the Declaration of Local Emergency shall take
effect immediately and that the widespread publicity and notice shall be
given this Declaration through the most feasible and adequate means of
disseminating such notice throughout the City.

Photo of firefighters on structure protection duty on Louise Ave. in Granada Hills | AP Photo/Reed Saxon