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San Diego Moves Forward with Brush Clearing Program

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Aired 4/19/09

For the first time in the city's history, San Diego will have a fully funded brush management program. During the next two years the city will clear all of the nearly 12-hundred acres recommended by the fire rescue department. Reporter David Nogueras has more.

In in the hills above Mira Mesa, contractors are using chainsaws to clear brush from a steep canyon.

San Diego will spend $3.9 million of it's own money over the next two years to hire crews like this to protect surrounding homes.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says the city will also double the number of full time employees for brush management and triple the number of code compliance officers.

Sanders: Wildfires are unpredictable disasters. We might not be able to stop them, but we can certainly be better prepared to minimize their destruction.

Sanders would not say where the money would come to pay for the project. The mayor says that every decision made in the budget is trade off with something else, and that public safety has to be a number one priority.

For KPBS, I'm David Nogueras.

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