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San Diego’s Hot, Dry Weather Puts Cal Fire On High Alert

Photo caption:

Photo by Tarryn Mento

A couple approaches stairs at the San Diego Convention Center on an unseasonably warm day in February 2014.

Special Feature San Diego Fire News

Follow our latest coverage of wildfires in San Diego.

Fire Safety Tips From Cal Fire

Don’t mow or weed dry grass on windy days.

Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely.

Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets.

Be extra careful with all powered equipment outdoors including chainsaws, tractors and welders.

As hot and windy conditions hit San Diego County this week, Cal Fire is beefing up its resources and urging San Diegans to be vigilant.

"We have extra firefighters and equipment available to respond to new wildfires during this wind event," Chief Dale Hutchinson, Cal Fire southern region chief, said in a statement. "While we are prepared, we are reminding residents to be extremely cautious while outdoors in order to prevent a wildfire. One less spark, means one less wildfire."

Temperatures are expected to be in the high 90s in inland San Diego County and in the 80s at the coast through Friday. A high-wind warning stretching from Chula Vista to Oceanside also is in effect through Thursday for the inland valleys and mountains. It's these conditions, plus the state's ongoing drought, that have put the state fire agency on high alert.

"The drought has set the stage for a very dry and potentially dangerous fire season," Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire's director, said in a statement. "Fire season never really ended last year in Southern California and these strong winds will only elevate the current fire risk."

Since Jan. 1, Cal Fire has responded to 1,108 wildfires. That's 411 more fires than this time last year, according to the agency's website.

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