CHIEF’S CORNER: IMPACT OF COVID-19 AND BRUSH FIRE SEASON

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
March 31, 2020 (San Diego) – It’s important to remember this years brush fire season will be a very active one with so much rain over the winter months. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus is putting many at risk as it’s hampering mitigation efforts with local fire agencies.
 
From brush mitigation management, prescribed burns, to multi-agency training for firefighters, local, state and federal fire agencies are trying to adhere to the country’s new social distancing guidelines to slow the spread.
 
The U.S. Forest Service, announced last week that it was suspending prescribed burns. This is an effective way to reduce hazardous vegetation from hillsides.
 
Fire Chiefs’ concern now is that we’re going to be more reactive to fire than proactive. We need the publics help more than ever. We’ll do our part, but the public has to do their part!
 
Multi-jurisdictional spring fire training has been cancelled with many agencies. Mutual aid is critical during these wildfires. Brush inspections and other mitigations may be disrupted/delayed.
 
Large scale wildfires typically draw hundreds, if not thousands, of firefighters into packed tent cities, where they work, eat and sleep together for weeks. Virus outbreaks are common, and the more severe coronavirus would probably find ripe breeding grounds there.
 
Firefighters need the public’s help and cooperation more than ever!
 
 
*Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.