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New Online Map Reveals Very High Fire Risk In San Diego County

Photo credit: County of San Diego

This color-coded fire hazard map of San Diego County shows very high fire risk areas in red.

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Is your home located in a high wildfire risk area? A new online wildfire hazard map of San Diego County allows you to enter your address and assess your fire danger.

It seems San Diego County has burned a lot over the last decade, but there are several major areas that haven't burned in more than 40 years, according to a new wildfire hazard map unveiled Wednesday by San Diego County leaders and fire officials.

Wildfire Hazard Map

Visit www.readysandiego.org to enter your address and assess your wildfire risk.

Photo by Susan Murphy

San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham discusses the new online fire hazard map at the County Office of Emergency Services Center, Sept. 29, 2015.

The map shows nearly 1,500 square miles, approximately one-third of the county, remains at a very high risk of fire, and another 270 square miles remain at high risk.

“The numbers are extremely troubling,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “But the new map also provides the critical information to better prepare residents in case of fire.”

The Google overlay map allows residents to enter their address to assess their wildfire danger. It also provides tips on how to prepare for potential fires, depending on your risk. The map is color-coded as very high (dark red), high (light red), moderate (yellow) and no designation (white).

“If it’s in a ‘no designation’ zone, it doesn’t mean there’s no risk, because surrounding the area may be red or light red,” Jacob said.

San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham said the data sets that feed the map are the same ones used by fire agencies.

“Looking at the topography, the fuel types, do fire estimating,” Mecham said. “When our firefighters and our chief officers go to a fire, they can pull tools on their mobile data computers and look at 100 years of fire history, so we can look at what fires did in the past and judge them based on the conditions today.”

Mecham warned the region’s fire fuels are the driest they've ever been and burning at speeds never seen before.

“If you live in an area that has brush that hasn’t burned in 50 years, and a fire starts, we hope you’re following the Ready, Set, Go program because we are going to give the order to go very, very quickly this year.”

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