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Brownouts Could Be Lifted If SD Faces Large Wildfire

Audio

Aired 8/26/10

The San Diego fire department is facing this year's wildfire season with fewer resources, but those resources may be increased if the circumstances call for it.

— The San Diego fire department is facing this year's wildfire season with fewer resources, but those resources may be increased if the circumstances call for it.

San Diego Fire and Rescue Department Truck 10 sits in a fire station garage .
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Above: San Diego Fire and Rescue Department Truck 10 sits in a fire station garage .

San Diego Fire and Rescue Chief Javier Mainar said if a large wildfire occurs the department will be staffed to fight it. San Diego's practice of idling, or browning out, some fire engines to save the city money has come under scrutiny during the summer. Mainar said the brownouts have lengthened response times on typical calls.

"But for these wildfire events we've not been substantially affected," he said. "We can still provide a high level of resources. And I have the ability at any time to basically cancel the brownouts based on operational conditions and even bring staff in well above brownout levels."

Mainar said he needs the eight browned-out engines back in service to provide the best possible coverage to the city.

He said the city also needs to address the lack of fire stations. Studies have shown San Diego needs between 11 and 22 more stations to provide adequate coverage.

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