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Morning Brief: Worst Fire Season Ever, A Recall Election Guide, And Vegan Mexican Eateries

Flames are shown on a hilltop near the Eagle Rock fire road burn in Topanga Canyon State Park, with huge plumes of smoke filling the sky.
A hilltop near the Eagle Rock fire road burns in Topanga Canyon State Park from the Palisades Fire on May 15, 2021.
(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s August 11.

So far this year, Southern California has been spared of massive, devastating wildfires. The same can’t be said for our neighbors up north, where the Dixie Fire has spread to four counties and is the state's largest single wildfire in recent history.

But experts are warning that things could soon change for inland areas near L.A. County, where a warming trend and elevated fire weather conditions that began yesterday could remain in place through Sunday.

My colleague Susanne Whatley reports that those conditions are being exacerbated by monsoonal moisture, which could bring thunderstorms and lightning. Last year, a series of lightning strikes sparked the blazes that eventually turned into the August Complex, a combination of blazes that became the state's largest-ever wildfire overall.

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In late 2020, several major wildfires burned nearly 135,000 acres in Southern California. The Bobcat Fire consumed more than 115,000 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Silverado Fire spread to 12,466 acres in Orange County before being contained, and the Bond Fire consumed 6,686 acres, also in OC, before firefighting teams were able to get it under control.

In 2018, the Woolsey Fire burned nearly 97,000 acres in L.A. and Ventura Counties.

If all of this seems to point to wildfires getting worse each year in California, that’s because they are, thanks to a combination of climate change, new developments in high-risk areas, and a lack of prescribed burns.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

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What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Ballots for the recall election are being mailed in L.A. County. Here’s what to expect on yours.
  • L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors got one step closer to mandating vaccines for its more than 100,000 workers.
  • Two L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies who were badly wounded last year in an ambush by a man using a “ghost gun” have sued the company that sold the parts for the weapon.
  • With the Delta variant fueling a rise in coronavirus cases, should vaccinations be required for teachers in California?
  • Experts weigh in on whether it’s okay to lie in order to get a vaccine, in any circumstances.

Before You Go ... L.A.'s Best Vegan Mexican Eateries

three tacos on blue corn tortillas set against a green, white and red background like the Mexican flag.
Three vegan tacos from Todo Verde.
(Photo collage by Elina Shatkin. Photo by Andrea Aliseda.)

If you think vegan Mexican food is all soyrizo and jackfruit, it's time to take another look. Born of vegetables, legumes, maiz, tradition and a desire to avoid harming animals, vegan Mexican has become one of the most innovative cuisines in the United States.

Excavating Mexico's pre-colonial foodways, it reimagines childhood favorites, weeknight staples and classic dishes. Plant-based Mexican fare also highlights the genius required to create exquisitely gooey nut-based cheeses, charred stacks of vegetables, and flowers that double as carne asada. Here are some of our favorite spots in L.A.

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