May 30, 2023
New ordinance targets riverbottom dwellers
RIVERSIDE – (INT) – The Riverside City Council is taking steps to stem years of wildfires in the Santa Ana Riverbottom.

A new ordinance takes aim at the homeless encampments anywhere in the city where there are high fire hazards.

In the past 5-years, the Riverside Fire Department has fought 163 vegetation fires in the riverbottom and 16 more in Sycamore Canyon, Hawarden Hills and the La Sierra Hills.

In a 2021 survey, 52 homeless encampments were found in those areas.

In the wording of the ordinance, it is unlawful and a public nuisance to sit, lie, sleep , or store, use, maintain or place any personal property in high fire-prone areas.

Councilwoman Clarissa Cervantes cast the lone ‘no vote’ over concerns whether the city has adequate shelter for people forced out of the riverbottom.

The ordinance is up for a final vote September 6th.
Story Date: August 19, 2022
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Habitat for Humanity
United Way of the Inland Valleys
Veterans Resource Center
IE LTSS Coalition