Temperatures and fire danger about to go way up - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Temperatures and fire danger about to go way up

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - As we approach the peak of fire season, firefighters are on high alert. They're hoping high temperatures and Santa Ana winds won't help fuel a massive wildfire like the ones we experienced in 2003 and 2007.

Brush removal crews are working overtime clearing canyons to decrease the danger from fires, which may flare up during the upcoming heat wave and head toward homes.

Bay Park resident Ken Woodard's home sits on the edge of Tecolote Canyon, where city crews have been rapidly removing decaying brush away from his property.

"We had fire come right up the canyon and took out a eucalyptus tree. It gets real heavy sometimes. It grows real fast and pretty high, so it could reach the house if a flame went up," Ken said.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler is watching the weather very closely during these next few weeks. That's because the memories of what happened in October 2003 with the Cedar Fire and October 2007's Witch Creek fire are firmly etched in his mind. He says there were many lessons learned by his colleagues and by frightened residents.

"Unfortunately you remember all the things that happened, all the homes that were lost. But what you also remember is all the work that was done by the firefighters, law enforcement and the community," Schuler said.

Cal Fire has wrapped several engines with a "Ready, Set, Go!" logo as part of a safety campaign for homeowners, who especially live in fire-prone areas.

"We want people to have that 100 feet of defensible space, and if you're asked to leave, please leave at a moment's notice," Schuler said. "Evaluate what's really important to you. Be able to grab that, whether it's your photos on an external hard drive, whether it's all your important documentations in a fire-safe box -- worry about the things you cannot replace."

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