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Mayor’s “Clean SD” Initiative Expands to Focus on Canyons and Wildfire Prevention

Crews Have Already Cleared Five Tons of Trash and Debris From Fire-Prone Canyons in First Week

Thursday, August 23, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – With the goal of reducing the risk of wildfires in San Diego’s most fire-prone areas, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer recently directed the clearing of trash and debris from canyons as part of the expanding “Clean SD” initiative.

At the entrance to a canyon in the College Grove community, Mayor Faulconer was joined today by Police Chief David Nisleit and Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell to explain the increasing risk of canyon fires and urge residents to report any potential problem spots.

“We’ve seen the devastating fires in other parts of the state so we must do everything we can to prevent wildfires,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Our canyons are beautiful spaces, but they’re also high-risk areas for potential fires that can spread quickly. We’re moving aggressively to clear canyons of any encampments or debris that could spark a fire.”

According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, the City has seen the number of fire incidents related to camping or cooking increase from nearly 150 in 2014 to almost 300 in 2017.

“There are about 45,000 structures along canyon edges in our city,” Chief Stowell said. “Our top priority is preserving life and property, and certainly canyon fires pose significant risks to residents and property. This cleanup effort goes a long way to help mitigate fire risks and keep our residents and firefighters safe.”

The “Clean SD” initiative expanded Aug. 13 to include canyons and more than five tons of trash and waste has already been removed. Since November, crews have removed 158 tons from the river, 168 tons from downtown streets and sidewalks, and an additional 46 tons from Chollas Creek.

Launched in May 2017, the “Clean SD” initiative includes City and Urban Corps crews that also respond to complaints received through the City’s Get It Done application, and remove litter in “hotspots” in Ocean Beach, City Heights, San Ysidro, Logan Heights, Paradise Hills, Webster & Mount Hope, Mission Beach, Point Loma and Pacific Beach – neighborhoods with a historically high level of illegal dumping activity.

Mayor Faulconer expanded the “Clean SD” program in the new fiscal year that began July 1 by adding 16 new positions – from heavy truck drivers to code compliance officers – to support the initiative.

Crews have already removed over 1,400 tons of debris, including:

  • 481 tires
  • 4,595 mattresses and box springs
  • 1,577 shopping carts
  • 203 appliances

Other “Clean SD” efforts include:

  • Increased street sweeping in the East Village neighborhood
  • Sanitizing sidewalks in downtown and other neighborhoods
  • Prioritizing graffiti removal requests
  • Organizing community cleanups that collected more than 100 tons of waste and debris from San Diego neighborhoods in 2017
  • Holding the City’s annual cleanup event at SDCCU Stadium – with more than 100 tons of waste and recyclables collected in a single day

CONTACT: Greg Block at (619) 236-6456 or [email protected]

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