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Morning Briefing: It's (Been) Fire Season. Know When To Go

Firefighters look on as a firefighting aircraft drops fire retardant as the Martindale Fire burns in the Angeles National Forest on September 28, 2020 near Santa Clarita. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A.

California has been strafed by more than 8,100 wildfires this year. The toll is already considerable — at least 26 people dead and more than 3.7 million acres burned — and peak fire season is only now getting under way.

That's the latest from our science reporter Jacob Margolis, who reminds us to be ready to go at a moment's notice. He offers some tips:

  1. HAVE A GO BAG: When his own family was preparing to evacuate during the Saddle Ridge Fire, they thought about it like making a vacation packing list. Think a week's worth of clothes, medicine, baby supplies, a few gallons of water, camping gear and a few necessities you wouldn't normally think about, like tax documents. And keep your gas tank full.
  2. CONSIDER LEAVING EARLY: It took Jacob and his family four hours to drive from L.A. to Santa Ynez when trying to escape smoke from the Saddle Ridge Fire. Much like leaving Dodger Stadium in the 7th inning, Jacob says, it could help you avoid getting stuck in bad traffic out of your area.

Read Jacob’s full story for more tips.

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

— Brian Frank

Coming Up Today, September 29

Will the shooting of two sheriff's deputies provide an opportunity to move towards mending the ruptured relations between law enforcement and certain communities, or will it exacerbate the problem? Reporter Frank Stoltze looks into that question.

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An LAUSD board committee will today debate a task force proposal on how to reduce the Los Angeles School Police budget by 35%. Reporter Carla Javier will detail the proposal and share reactions from both the school police union and student groups.

Plus, join us at 5 p.m. as we explore Prop 15’s impact on commercial property owners, schools and local governments with guest experts in a live virtual event moderated by KPCC/LAist reporters David Wagner and Kyle Stokes. This is part of our Voter Game Plan, a one-stop shop to help you prepare for the Nov. 3 election.

And let’s not forget the first presidential debate, as President Donald Trump squares off against his Democratic rival, Joe Biden. You can watch live right here and follow along as NPR reporters live blog the event starting at 6 p.m.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Wildfire Weather: Heat and red flag warnings are in place for L.A. County, with temperatures in the triple digits forecast for some areas. So far, California has seen more than 8,100 wildfires this year, with more than 3.7 million acres burned. And peak fire season is just now arriving. As if to underscore that, a new fire broke out near Santa Clarita.

Coronavirus By The Numbers: Some good news on COVID-19: L.A. County did not see a surge in cases associated with the Labor Day holiday weekend. Statewide, hospitalizations are down 20% over the last two weeks, with ICU admissions down 21%. Still the governor advised Californians to get a flu shot — a bad flu season coupled with COVID-19 could tax the state’s health care resources.

Convention Contender: Organizers want LA Comic Con to happen in person this December. They plan to have COVID-19 precautions in place and say they have been working with health officials and the L.A. Convention Center to make it all happen. That said, no such facilities have been cleared to reopen yet in the state.

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Local Happenings: Explore an extensive collection of horror and sci-fi memorabilia. Rent out the Fresh Prince's Bel-Air manse. Learn about early L.A. female foodies. Tune into a concert that recreates a classic Marvin Gaye album. Here’s a curated list of these and (many) other things to do and discover this week.

Photo Of The Day

Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein with astronomer John Anthony Miller at the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1931. Firefighters have been working since Sept. 6 to contain the Bobcat Fire that's now threatened the historic observatory several times. The Bobcat Fire is currently at 114,000 acres and 62% containment.

(Keystone/Getty Images)

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