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New Fire Webcams Guard San Diego Backcountry

— San Diego County firefighters have a new weapon -- Webcams.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday that about 50 webcams are broadcasting from mountaintops, including 16 high-resolution cameras installed over the past few weeks. The images are refreshed every two minutes.

The high-def cameras were installed for the fall fire season under the FireSight program. They're funded by a $36,000 grant from the county Board of Supervisors.

The cameras aren't monitored full-time but the public can view them online and firefighters can watch them when there are high-risk fire conditions such as Santa Ana winds.

The cameras are tied into a research network at the University of California, San Diego, which has webcams at other county sites.

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