Mission fires are at an all time excessive.


Markael Raybon was sleeping in his retailer on Shotwell Avenue, close to sixteenth Avenue, on the evening of Might 5 when he started to scent smoke. He did not suppose an excessive amount of about it, till he began to really feel some warmth.

“The following factor I heard was positive, positive, positive! It was loopy,” she stated, remembering the sound of a propane tank exploding. It was the twenty second hearth of all types in Shotwell between 14th and seventeenth streets this yr.

Mission Native reported a rise in fires within the neighborhood in November, sparked by uncontrolled barbecues, heating home equipment and propane tanks. And so they’re nonetheless going, based on statistics compiled by the Hearth Division and anecdotes from close by residents.

“There is a level the place you do not know what to do,” stated Lily Rahnabart, who lives across the nook from the place a fireplace broke out June 1 at South Van Ness and fifteenth streets, and has been to the neighborhood for 14 years. .

Firefighters extinguish a fireplace on the facet of the west wall of Meals Co (66 Shotwell Avenue) on September 30, 2021. One firefighter stated three purchasing carts had been overturned and used as barbecues. Picture courtesy of Christi Azevedo.

In 2020, fires within the Mission are up 50 p.c, from 610 in 2019 to 377. And whereas fires are down barely in 2021 to 574, there have been extra this yr than the identical interval final yr — a leap of 226 outside fires from January by way of Might 2021 to 297 from January by way of Might 2022. That is the very best mid-year outside hearth whole on report within the Mission.

The Mission is on observe to report extra

outside fires in 2022 than in any earlier yr.

The Mission is heading in the right direction

to report extra exterior fires

in 2022 than in any earlier yr.

Will Jarrett graphic. Knowledge from the San Francisco Hearth Division. Excludes constructing and chimney fires.

Whereas neighbors have been advocating for a Hearth Division resolution since 2016, they’ve sought out Supervisor Hillary Ronen since she took workplace in 2017, they stated.

Like his neighbors, Rahnabart stated the fires are coming primarily from the camps.

For its half, the Hearth Division says it’s working with the San Francisco Police Division, San Francisco Public Works and the Homeless Outreach Crew to cut back encampment fires. A number of organizations, together with Wholesome Streets, the division stated, publish and distribute fliers with security suggestions: By no means prepare dinner in a tent; by no means use electrical home equipment to warmth a tent or sleeping space.