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Three Years Following Cedar Fire, SD County is More Prepared

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Aired 4/19/09

The Cedar Fire burned more than 270,000 acres in San Diego County three years ago Wednesday. Since that time, the city of San Diego has changed building codes and added firefighting equipment to prevent and fight future wildfires.  KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The Cedar Fire and two other fires killed 16 people and burned nearly 2,100 homes three years ago. More than 300 homes in the city of San Diego, most in Scripps Ranch, were destroyed.  Nearly all of those homes have been rebuilt and the owners are now living in them. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says homes now built in areas prone to wildfires must meet new building codes.

Sanders: That requires roofing that’s much safer and less likely to burn as well as new brush management and buffer zone regulations. Additionally, because of what we learned in the Cedar Fires, fire rescue now has an enhanced helicopter program – new high tech equipment that gives our firefighters more tools.

Fire officials wanted the city to require interior sprinklers and other building code changes. But the City Council only approved upgraded roof requirements and a brush management ordinance. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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