Red Flag Towaway Days Are Coming

The Fire Dept. has told us that they will begin to enforce the new Red Flag Day Towaway ordinance (# 177215) in August, so we need to prepare ourselves for this period.  Typically, any year has approximately 10 Red Flag days within the City of LA (as opposed to LA County), and many streets within Mt. Washington are affected, principally on the East side of Mt. Washington and in the Five Points area.

Further LAFD information about the Red Flag Day policy, along with maps and lists of affected streets, can be found at:


Q: What is a Red Flag Day?

A: Red Flag Day is when weather conditions are such that the potential for a fast-moving brush fire is extremely high. The conditions are defined as wind speeds 25 mph or more and humidity 15% or less.

Q:Why are these areas only enforced on Red Flag Days?

A: There is an everyday potential to create a choke point in these areas that could impact the delivery of emergency services, but during normal operation the situation of mass exodus from a particular area is much less likely than during a brush fire situation. The operators of emergency vehicles will normally have more than one route into and out of an area and can direct companies to a location if one route is not accessible.

Q:How will I know if we are in a Red Flag Condition?

A: The following are the methods developed to notify citizens that the City is in a Red Flag condition and that the towing of vehicles will be taking place. The following methods are currently in place:

  • Citizens will be able to contact the 311 Operator and inform them if the City of Los Angeles is in a Red Flag situation.
  • Every local news outlet has agreed to broadcast during traffic, and weather segments that the City of Los Angeles is in a Red Flag situation. Those news outlets include radio and television.
  • Every fire station will fly a red flag In the first year of the program, local fire companies will drive the posted areas in an attempt to locate vehicle owners to have them move prior to being towed.
  • Numerous CERT and citizen groups have volunteered to assist in this program in order to free up fire companies.
  • This website will be available for the public to read about the program and see what areas of the city have been posted “No Parking on Red Flag Days.” In addition, citizens can provide their e-mail address that will be included as a mailing list.

Q:Why will we hear on the radio or television that there is a Red Flag condition yet the 311 Operator indicates that the City of Los Angeles is not enforcing the Towing Policy?

A: Currently the media outlets do not differentiate between the Southern California region being in a Red Flag condition and the City of Los Angeles. Citizens can determine if we are in a Red Flag situation by phoning 311 or by contacting their local fire station.


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