Heat wave prompts fire danger concern

SAN DIEGO — The extreme heat in San Diego County comes with an increased risk of fire danger.

Cal Fire San Diego Captain Neil Czapinski says fire stations are fully-staffed and crews are ready to roll should a fire break out during this heat wave.

“We’re always training we’re always prepared,” he said. “We have bulldozer-staffed hand crews staffed so we’re ready to respond in moments notice, keep that fire as small as possible.”

Areas around the county are seeing temperatures climb well into the 90s, with a bit of wind to add to the concern. On the upside, vegetation and hillsides are still green from recent rains, but they are drying out.

“Fuel moistures are coming down,” Czapinski said. “They’re not quite reached that critical area, which is like a 60% level, but right now everything is still green. There is a curing component to the grass is in the local chaparral, we’re still looking relatively OK.”

Cal Fire is urging people to be extra careful in the heat. If driving, especially along rural roads, make sure vehicles are well-maintained.

“If you’re towing something, you’re not dragging a chain. Make sure your brakes are in good order. All those things that can fall off or flake off your car and find a receptive fuel bread next to the road, those are how we get some of our roadside starts.”

And those determined to soak up the sunshine, maybe go out for a long walk or hike, should take extra care to avoid heat exhaustion.

“Just be prepared, maybe take a little medical kit; make sure you’re wearing the right shoes and enough water to stay hydrated; make sure your cell phones are nicely charged; make sure if you do have emergency you are in an area that you can call 911.”

He also mentioned anyone doing defensible space around the home or getting ready to, it’s best to hold off until after Friday, because tools and equipment often spark fires.

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