Faulconer, Kersey Urge San Diegans to Prepare for Coming Fire Season by Protecting Their Home

Brush Management, Defensible Space Key to Protecting Property

San Diego - Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmember Mark Kersey joined Fire-Rescue Chief Javier Mainar to urge homeowners to take preventive measures to protect their property from wildfires.

The Bernardo fire, which charred more than 1,500 acres last month, is a stark reminder that the fire season is not just in the fall and San Diegans must be on alert year-round. There are specific measures that San Diego residents, especially those living near open space, can take to help protect their homes from future fires.

"Fire safety is everyone's responsibility," Faulconer said. "The City is doing its part by increasing funding for brush management efforts within our open space parks and canyons. Homeowners also must take commonsense steps to protect themselves because we are all in this together."

The City's brush management regulations require all homes in wildland-urban interface areas to have up to 100 feet of defensible space and take other precautions to help prevent the spread of wildfires. In the coming months, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department will be conducting door-to-door inspections to help educate residents and make sure they are properly clearing brush around their homes.

"Fires can go from bad to worse in a very short time so firefighters need every advantage they can get in order to successfully protect homes," said Kersey, who represents the Fifth District where the Bernardo fire burned. "It is critical that homeowners are proactive in doing their part so, in turn, firefighters can do their jobs more effectively."

The City of San Diego has more than 900 linear miles of wildland-urban interface where the backyards of homes meet the native-naturalized vegetation in canyons and other open space areas. At the same time, years of drought have increased the flammability of vegetation.

"I've said it before, but it bears repeating: when a wildfire strikes, we won't always be able to save every house in its path," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Javier Mainar. "Prepare long before the threat of a wildfire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Help us save your house."

Additional measures that homeowners should take include trimming trees so they are at least 10 feet from your home and clearing debris from roofs and gutters.

For information on how to properly prepare your home for wildfires, download the "Ready, Set, Go" brochure at http://www.sandiego.gov/fire/safety/tips/readysetgo.shtml.

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]