There's a new bear in the Hollywood Hills and local leaders took some time Thursday to celebrate his arrival.
Councilman Tom LaBonge and Hollywood Hills United Neighborhood Council President Susan Swan unveiled one of two new Smokey Bear signs installed near Sunset Ranch.
The signs aim to remind park-goers of the high fire danger in the area, and to serve as a voter outreach effort for the upcoming neighborhood council election, demonstrating the role the elected leaders play in a community.
"The purpose of a neighborhood council is to see where the need is and see where we can help," said Susan Swan, president of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council. "What I'm the proudest of, is the cooperation between all the homeowners assocations in the community."
The neighborhood council sponsored the creation of six of the signs at a total of about $7,500. Two are located near Sunset Ranch, one outside the gate of Bronson Canyon Park, one near the location of a and across the street, a double-sided sign.
"We saw the fire, we saw the coverage of it," Swan said. "I read the Patch article about the fire and we read that the homeowners associations were concerned about putting signage up and there was no funding."
The cost of the new signs covers an anti-graffiti coat of paint and a way to deeply secure the signs into the ground.
Firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department's Station 82 showed their support for the neighborhood councils' efforts by attending the unveiling ceremony.
LAFD Battalion 5 Chief Jeff Elder thanked the neighborhood council for the signs, which came just in time for the peak season of high fire dangers in the hills.
"Any help that we can get up here in Griffith Park in the Hollywood Hills is much appreciated," Elder said. "We are entering fire season and although we've had some hot weather, we've been blessed with some high humidity. Unfortunately it looks like that humidity is going away in the next few days so we all need to be diligent. We all need to be aware that we are in an area that is at high risk for a significant fire."
Like all neighborhood councils within Hollywood, HUNC's election is scheduled for Sunday. Its election will be held at Cheremoya Avenue Elementary's auditorium from 3 to 5 p.m. The school is at 6017 Franklin Ave.
For more information visit their website: www.hollywoodunitednc.org.
And for more information about all of the Hollywood area neighborhood councils' elections this Sunday, go to the Empower L.A. website: http://empowerla.org/central-1/