Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cal Fire Adds Engines and Crews to Ready For Fires This Week

Firefighting agencies are on alert as the weather forecast for this week calls for low humidity and high winds, similar to the conditions that caused the wildfires in San Diego last month. Cal Fire ha

Cal Fire Adds Engines and Crews to Ready For Fires This Week

Firefighting agencies are on alert as the weather forecast for this week calls for low humidity and high winds, similar to the conditions that caused the wildfires in San Diego last month. Cal Fire has added 15 extra fire engines to the 46 already stationed here, and sent in eight additional crews. More than half a dozen air tankers are also ready to take off if fires break out and conditions permit. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

San Diego county is mounting three extra fire strike teams, the city has another one or two on standby.

City Fire Chief Tracey Jarman says residents can play their part by being on the alert.

Jarman : If you see any smoke, call it in, give us a chance to get a head start on it and hit it early, we’ve got all these assets here in the county. Our best defense is to hit it hard and to hit it fast.

Chief Jarman says having residents prepared makes a big difference both in terms of clearing defensible space around their properties and being ready to evacuate if a reverse 911 call comes.

Ron Lane, director of County Office of Emergency Services , says cell phones are now being added to the reverse 911 system.

Lane : We have over 70,000 people who have registered on their cell phones which in view of the fact that there are probably 3 million cell phones in the county is only a drop in the bucket, but we’ve made sure that they are locked into our system so that if we do have to make those reverse 911 calls, that they will get those calls.

Lane says the cots and evacuation supplies used last month are still handy. But he hopes that they won’t have to put to them to use again this year.

Alison St John KPBS News.

(Residents can register their cells to get a reverse 911 call if their zip code is threatened by going to the County of San Diego’s emergency web site: sdcountyemergency .com.)