September 27, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--The National Weather Service today issued a Red Flag Warning due to high winds, dry brush and increased fire danger in San Diego County. The Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 12 p.m. Friday, September 27 through 6 p.m. Saturday, September 28 for the following communities: Ramona, Valley Center, Fallbrook, Escondido, El Cajon, Alpine, Potrero, Campo, Santa Ysabel, Descanso, Julian, Ranchita, and Warner Springs.
“Firefighting agencies throughout the state will be on high alert this weekend,” said Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler. “This is the first Red Flag Warning of what is shaping up to be one of the most challenging fire seasons in many years. High winds can turn a spark into a devastating wildfire in just minutes, so we’re calling on San Diegans to be extremely vigilant in the high fire-risk areas of the county.”
During the Red Flag Warning, Cal Fire urges all Californians to exercise extreme caution outdoors in order to prevent wildfires. A few helpful reminders and fire prevention tips include:
- Don’t mow or use a weed-eater to trim dry grass on windy days.
- Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely.
- Never pull over your vehicle in dry grass.
- Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on “NO Burn Days” or when it’s windy.
- Make sure all portable gasoline-powered equipment have spark arresters.
CAL FIRE and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) also remind San Diegans that power outages can be expected during extreme wind conditions. SDG&E encourages customers to be prepared by having the following on hand:
- Battery-powered emergency lighting (or flashlights, at a minimum);
- A portable or battery-powered radio;
- A wind-up or battery-powered clock;
- Nonperishable foods and water (including a manual can opener);
- Pet food;
- A first aid kit; and
- A telephone that does not depend on electricity.
SDG&E offers a number of tools to help customers during an interruption in electric service, they can visit sdge.com/outages to check the status of a power outage, download SDG&E’s mobile app at sdge.com/mobileapps or connect with SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-SDGE (7343), on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook. In addition, customers in the high fire-risk area can monitor current wind speeds at sdge.com/weatheroutage.
San Diegans are also asked to report any downed lines immediately to 1-800-411-SDGE (7343). If you encounter a downed line, always assume it is live and never touch a fallen line or a person or vehicle in contact with the line.
For more ways to help prevent and prepare for wildfires visit ReadyForWildfire.org or www.fire.ca.gov