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What Should Southern Californians Expect This Fire Season?

Published May 5, 2022 at 9:59 AM PDT
A firefighter monitors the situation as a helicopter drops water on a smouldering hillside in Laguna Beach, California on February 10, 2022 after the Emerald Fire took off before dawn.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
/
AFP
A firefighter monitors the situation as a helicopter drops water on a smouldering hillside in Laguna Beach, California on February 10, 2022 after the Emerald Fire took off before dawn.

What Should Southern Californians Expect This Fire Season?

Wildfire Season Lookahead 5.5.22

We are now in the middle of the state’s Wildfire Preparedness Week, with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) spreading awareness ahead of wildfire season in the state. According to the department, this year has seen more than 1,400 wildfire incidents so far, which have resulted in more than 6,500 acres burned. And as California’s historic mega drought persists, water conservation mandates loom, and forecasts call for extreme heat, firefighters and climate scientists say we need to prepare for significant wildfires.

Today on AirTalk, we talk about the impact the drought may have on this year’s wildfire season and what agencies are doing to prevent it. Joining us is Bureau of Land Management communication center manager Andrea Littlefield, professor of earth sciences at Stanford University Noah Diffenbaugh, and CAL Fire public information officer Robert Foxworthy.

Meet The Candidates: Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna Says He’s An Outsider Who Will Reform The LA County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Candidate Robert Luna Talks About His Candidacy

Mail-in ballots for theJune primary start going out to votersnext week, and one of the most consequential races in Los Angeles County is the race for L.A. County Sheriff. The sheriff leads thelargest sheriff’s agency in the world, with more than 10,000 sworn deputies and 8,000 civilian staff. Because this race has huge implications for law enforcement, public safety, and the communities of Los Angeles County, here on AirTalk, we’re bringing you a series of one-on-one interviews with the candidates for L.A. County Sheriff. Today we hear from former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. Luna spent his entire 36 year law enforcement career with the Long Beach Police Department. He was named chief in 2014 and retired in December. Luna is the only candidate for L.A. County Sheriff who comes from outside the department.

Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks with candidate for L.A. County SheriffRobert Luna about his plans to lead the department.

You can read a profile of Robert Luna by KPCC and LAist Civics and Democracy Correspondent Frank Stoltze here.

NOTE: AirTalk has reached out to all nine candidates for L.A. County Sheriff for interviews. Later this hour you’ll hear from the current L.A. County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva. You can find our interviews with the rest of the candidates at kpcc.org/airtalk

As The L.A. County Fair Returns After a Two-Year Pandemic Hiatus, We Ask Listeners For Their Favorite Fair Memories

LA County Fair 5.5.22

Following a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, the L.A. County Fair reopens today. That’s a departure from the usual fair season of September. This year, as the fair turns 100, organizers decided to move the fair to the spring to hopefully help protect against the scorching temperatures fairgoers tend to encounter in the late summer. Today on AirTalk we speak with columnist for the Southern California News Group David Allen and author of the new book “100 Years of the Los Angeles County Fair, 25 Years of Stories”(Pelekinesis, 2022) about what’s new at the fair this year, and we ask listeners what they love about the L.A. County Fair, and the county and state fairs where they grew up.

Gearing Up For The June Primary: LA County Supervisors Pass Motion That Would, In Part, Create A New County Entity On Homelessness

VGP Housing And Homelessness County 5.5.22

Mail-in ballots for the June primary start arriving at homes next week. Here at KPCC and LAist, we’reshifting the focus of our political coverage away from politicians and toward voters. To that end, we asked listeners and readers to tell us what’s important to you this election season, and the questions and comments we received fell largely into four key topics, what we’re calling “destiny issues”: housing and homelessness, systemic racism, equitable economies, and education. So here on AirTalk, we’re going to spend the next month drilling down on each of those four topics, and this week we’re focusing on housing and homelessness. On Tuesday,, we heard from KPCC & LAist reporters Ethan Ward and Aaron Mendelson, who explained what we’re covering and why, and yesterday we talked to deputy director of the Housing Rights Center Javier Beltran and Daniel Yukelson, executive director of Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles about the looming end of California’s eviction moratorium. Today, we’ll talk about the L.A. County Board of Supervisors’ vote on Tuesday to implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Homelessness, one of which would create a new L.A. County entity for homelessness matters. Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger ,who authored the motion to pass the recommendations, joins us to talk about what this entity would look like in practice, how it would differ from the Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and how she sees this entity as a step toward better addressing the housing crisis.

As part of KPCC/LAist’s Voter Game Plan, we’re introducing you to the candidates for L.A. Mayor and Los Angeles County Supervisor (District 3). You can watch archived conversations and find information on upcoming interviewshere.

Meet The Candidates: Sheriff Alex Villanueva Makes The Case For A Second Term

Sheriff Candidate Villanueva Talks About His Reelection Run

Mail-in ballots for theJune primary start going out to votersnext week, and one of the most consequential races in Los Angeles County is the race for L.A. County Sheriff. The sheriff leads thelargest sheriff’s agency in the world, with more than 10,000 sworn deputies and 8,000 civilian staff. Because this race has huge implications for law enforcement, public safety, and the communities of Los Angeles County, here on AirTalk, we’re bringing you a series of one-on-one interviews with the candidates for L.A. County Sheriff. Earlier this hour we heard from former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna and now we sit down with current Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Villanueva was a lieutenant, with the department for more than three decades when he ran for sheriff in 2018, unseating incumbent Jim McDonnell in a stunning upset. He ran as a reformer, promising to kick ICE agents out of the county’s jail system. It’s a promise that helped him earn support from immigrant rights groups and the L.A. County Democratic Party. But his tenure has attracted controversy, including battles with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, clashes with oversight bodies about deputy gangs, and recently, claims that he covered up a video of a deputy with his knee on the head of a man in custody for three minutes.

Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks with current L.A. County SheriffAlex Villanueva about his plans to lead the department if elected to a second term.

NOTE: AirTalk has reached out to all nine candidates for L.A. County Sheriff for interviews. You can find our interviews with the rest of the candidates at kpcc.org/airtalk

The Cultural And Ecological Significance Of Condors Once Again Taking Flight

California Condors 5.5.22

California condors have returned to a northern part of the state for the first time in 130 years. Two of four condors that were part of a restoration program that started over a decade ago took flight this week over ancestral Yurok land in Humboldt County. The other two are soon to be released as well.

Condors are one of the rarest birds in the world and neared extinction. According to Capradio, the bird population dwindled to around 20 in the 1980s. Today, there are about 330. Tiana Williams-Claussen, a member of the Yurok Nation and director of the Yurok Wildlife Department, joins to discuss the ecological success as well as the cultural significance of the birds once again taking flight.

AirTalk Honors The Local Heroes Making A Difference Around Southern California

Local Heroes 5.5.22

The news is a lot to handle right now, so on Airtalk, we’re setting aside time each week to talk about some of the positives, like all the good people doing great things across Southern California. We asked you to help us shine a spotlight on your local heroes, and we received a lot of great submissions. Today on AirTalk, we're speaking withCarol Rosenstein, executive director & co-founder of Music Mends Minds, a nonprofit which fosters the development of bands and choirs of seniors to help forestall the progression of diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and related dementias.   

You can find more information on Carol's organization here.

To help us shine a spotlight on your local hero, go to kpcc.org/airtalk. You’ll find a link right under our show description where you can nominate your local hero. And they could be interviewed here on AirTalk. We’re hoping to do one of these each week, and we can’t do it without your help. 

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