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San Diego Officials Urge Schwarzenegger To Bolster Firefighting Resources

— The San Diego County Board of Supervisors and 16 local mayors sent a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today urging him to issue an executive order to bolster firefighting resources for the region in advance of the wildfire season.

"Especially during these tough economic times, having additional state firefighting resources stationed locally for the peak fire season is critically important for our regional fire protection system," the letter states.

Previous executive orders have allowed CalFire to provide a fourth firefighter for each of the 26 state fire engines located in San Diego County, according to the letter.

The letter highlights the impacts of potential state budget reductions on the regional mutual aid system, aerial firefighting staff and the expected abundance of dry brush in the backcountry during the summer and fall.

"The mutual aid systems that we have depended upon during times of high emergency activity could be threatened should cuts become necessary," the letter reads.

According to the county, if the governor's executive order is initiated it could bring in $5-$6 million more in funding for regional fire protection on top of the $26 million already allocated for Cal Fire locally.

The letter was signed by each of the five San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the mayors of Solana Beach, Encinitas, Del Mar, Escondido, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, Oceanside, Chula Vista, La Mesa, El Cajon, Coronado, Poway, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove and National City.

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