Washington—In response to the ongoing wildfires in San Diego County, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement:
“This has been a very difficult week for San Diego County. I thank all the firefighters who risk their lives to safeguard other lives and property. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. I also thank the San Diego sheriff’s department, the Navy and Marine Corps on Camp Pendleton and all the first responders who worked to keep Californians safe under these very difficult conditions. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the fires, especially those who were injured or lost their homes.”
“Weather conditions have improved and are allowing authorities to control these fires. But this fire season promises to be very dangerous. I urge all Californians to take proactive steps and work with local agencies to help prevent future wildfires. Clearing brush from around homes is one of the most effective steps that all Californians can take. As we prepare for what will likely be an unprecedented fire season, I hope the people of California make prevention a priority.”
Several fires remain active today, but officials maintain they will be 100% contained very soon. In total, 14 fires have burned more than 27,000 acres. By some reports, more than 60 structures were destroyed or damaged. Throughout the past week, there have been over 175,000 AlertSanDiego evacuation contacts.
Fighting these fires has been an interagency effort, including CAL FIRE, Department of Defense, U.S. Forest Service, FEMA, the governor’s office and the County of San Diego.
In terms of prevention efforts, it is important that homeowners create 100 feet of “defensible space” around their homes. Proper clearance of flammable vegetation and brush around a house dramatically increases the chance that the house survives a fire.
Other important preparedness measures include having an Emergency Supply Kit, a Family Communication Plan and a Wildfire Action Plan that includes evacuation plans with designated, safe meeting locations.
According to CAL FIRE, 95 percent of wildfires in California are started by people, so in addition to prevention methods, residents also have a responsibility to take steps to lessen the risk that they inadvertently start a fire.
For more information on wildfire preparedness and what Californians can do, please visit: http://www.readyforwildfire.org