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Hot Temperatures Increase Fire Risk

Audio

Aired 8/24/10

Rising temperatures mean increased risk of wildfires. Local CAL FIRE officials are urging San Diegans to be prepared.

— Rising temperatures mean increased risk of wild fires. Local CAL FIRE officials are urging San Diegans to be prepared.

A CAL FIRE official said high temperatures could have played a role in two wildfires in San Diego County over the weekend. One in El Monte Park burned more than 1,000 acres, and another in Santa Ysabel was contained to about 30 acres.

Local CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Nick Schuler said this week’s high temperatures make it important to be prepared for the possibility of more fires.

“We need people to be aware of their surroundings, have that important defensible space. And, when we do ask them to leave, have a game plan ready for their family. Know what to take, the important documents, know what they’re going to do with their pets and listen to law enforcement when they’re asked to leave,” he said.

Part of staying prepared during wild fire season is maintaining a defensible space around your home. That means keeping a 30-foot area around your house clear of dead plants or tree branches, dry leaves and other materials a fire could feed on.

Something many people don’t realize is that the time of day when you do the work to keep your lot clear is important, too.

“We see several fires started each year by somebody who’s out there trimming but they’re doing it after 10 o’clock in the morning, which tends to be more of a hazardous time to clear your property. We’ve seen people start fires with lawnmowers, with weed eaters, with things like that,” Schuler said.

CAL FIRE provides information on how to protect your home and family against wildfires at ReadyForWildfire.org.

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