question on re-seeding lawn

I have some patches on my lawn to re-seed. They turned from green to white, and the grass is dead.
How much of that dead white grass do I need to remove? Can I loosen up the dirt, drop seed, top soil, and starter fertilizer or do I need to dig into all the dead grass and remove it ?
My grass is fescue (Marathon) and I live in the foothills of Los Angeles.
Thanks.
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You need to move. LA is un-inhabitable. (Sorry, had to throw that in. I'm a native San Franciscan. Air that you can *see* makes my eyes burn.)
To reseed: rake the dead stuff up; toss some seed out; sprinkle a tiny bit of fertilizer, if you want to; water it in. Keep sprinkling it with water when it needs it. It'll grow.
Growing a lawn in LA, on water that has to come from the Colorado River is probably not a politically-correct notion these days. You guys are taking so much water that the Rio Grande is a mud ditch now. Why don't you grow native plants, instead of lawn?
Are you sorry you asked yet? *smile*
Jan, in Alaska these days
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