Proposal Will Speed Catalina Island Fire Recovery

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe called today for County agencies to expedite permits needed to begin repairs to critical infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed during the wildfire on Catalina Island in early May.

Although the 4,750 acre fire claimed only a single home and several small outbuildings, the fire still destroyed several miles of fencing, nearly 100 utility poles, and caused extensive damage to roads used to access the unincorporated interior of the Island. Additionally, the fire left significant ecologic damage to the island habitat that could lead to flooding, mudslides and erosion.

Any repairs or rehabilitation to fire-damaged areas will require standard permitting by numerous County agencies. Supervisor Knabe’s proposal will require the County to expedite permit processing and allow for swift approval of repair and recovery projects in the Island’s interior. The proposal will also examine having temporary housing placed on Catalina Island to accommodate repair crews that may otherwise struggle to find housing in Avalon’s limited housing market.

Normally, permitting can be an extended process that involves a number of County agencies, but in the case of Catalina Island recovery, I want a coordinated system so that all departments work together, said Supervisor Knabe. We need to get Catalina on the road to recovery and we need to stabilize it against any further ecological damage as a result of this fire.