Fire Officials Prepare For Mild Santa Ana Winds, Heat Wave
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Aired 10/2/14 on KPBS News.
Fire officials are warning of an elevated fire risk in San Diego County starting Thursday and continuing through Sunday. Residents are urged to be extra cautious.
Cal Fire is increasing air and ground resources, including one additional air tanker from Northern California, for a total of three, as well as five more water tenders and 26 fully staffed engines.
"We’ve certainly learned as a result of the 2003 and 2007 fires, and the most recent ones, that we need to be proactive," said Cal Fire Captain Kendal Bortisser.
He said nearly the whole county is at risk for wildfire.
"We used to focus on the rural areas of the backcountry as having the majority of the wildfires," Bortisser said. "However, we’ve seen since then that fires occur at the coast, they occur in residential neighborhoods, they can occur anywhere in San Diego County. So we’re asking folks throughout the county to be on heightened alert."
Mild Santa Ana winds are expected to gust to 10-12 mph at the coast and as high as 40-50 mph in the foothills.
Fire officials have warned for months that San Diego faces serious fire danger this year as gripping drought conditions, that started more than 1,000 days ago, have parched canyons and hillsides to a crisp.
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