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Campaign Will Urge San Diego Homeowners to Clear Brush

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Aired 4/19/09

San Diego's Office of Emergency Services will fund a campaign this summer to urge residents to create defensible space to protect their homes from wildfires. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Brush clearance and creating defensible space around a home is mandatory is some fire districts but not all not.

Lane: What we are looking for is voluntary compliance.

Ron Lane is head of County Emergency Services. He says the county plans to use several hundred thousand dollars, including Homeland Security funding, to launch a public education campaign while the memory of the last wild fires is fresh in peoples' minds.

Lane: Thousands of homes were inside the fire perimeter survived because of defensible space and that's the message we want to get out to people is even if the fire goes through your community you still have a decent shot of saving your home if you take simple precautions around your home."

Lane says defensible space does not mean clear cutting around a home. He says the campaign will aim to educate residents on how to landscaping for fire protection. It is due to launch in late August, just one month before the height of the fire season.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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