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‘Plan, prepare and stay aware’: Local leaders urge residents to be ready when wildfires hit



County leaders presented plans Friday for a quick response to wildfires and discussed recent investments in wildfire prevention.

During a press conference at Gillespie Field in which they urged residents to take steps to protect their homes, Supervisors Joel Anderson and Nathan Fletcher were joined by representatives from Cal Fire, the county Fire Protection District, San Diego Sheriff’s Department and San Diego Fire-Rescue.

“We are ready to respond to wildfires,” said Fletcher, Board of Supervisors chairman and county Fire Protection District president. “Our county, together with our partners across the region, have the training, equipment and experience in fire prevention, protection and suppression; the duties they perform under very difficult circumstances are heroic.”

“Over the years our region has invested heavily in resources to support wildfire preparedness, but the increased fire danger from drought and climate change require us to do more,” Fletcher said. “Going forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues and regional leaders to explore more options to increase protections for our region.”

Last year, California experienced six of the largest and most destructive wildfires in state history, with more than 4 million acres burned, according to Fletcher’s office. In 2020, the Valley Fire that burned southeast of Alpine destroyed 30 homes and forced more than 1,400 residents to evacuate. READ MORE