Crews on alert as fire danger ramps back up - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Crews on alert as fire danger ramps back up

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Cal Fire is reminding us all to be careful as another Red Flag Warning is issued for San Diego County.

The Red Flag Warning took effect Sunday morning and is expected to last until Tuesday night. And tonight, Cal Fire is hoping everyone does their part to keep the county safe during these dangerous conditions.

Take one step outside and it's easy to tell San Diego has all the fixings for a fire.

"We're still in critical fire conditions here," Capt. Kendall Bortisser said.

Cal Fire Captain Kendall Bortisser says high winds, high temps and low humidity made them pull the trigger and declare a Red Flag Warning. They're busy on TV and social media trying to get the word out.

"Ninety-five percent of fires are human caused. So we need the public to help us out with that 95 percent. Simple things, being extra cautious when outdoors. Pulling your vehicle off into a grassy area," Capt. Bortisser said.

Adding to that, don't throw cigarette butts out your car and watch for any embers coming from your barbecue. One of the latest human caused fires broke out Saturday night in Chula Vista. Police arrested a homeless man after he started a fire and ran from the scene.

To stay on top of any fires that do break out, Cal Fire is beefing up staff so they can react to any blaze quickly.

"We have staffing patterns that gives us the ability to move personnel and equipment around with weather patterns we have coming up. Increased staff, we can hold all personnel on duty. Cancel days off, there's a lot of different staffing patterns we have available to us," Capt. Bortisser said.

That said, conditions will make fighting fires tough. Not only is there plenty of fuel to burn, but the high winds will play a big role. It makes it tough for predicting fire movement for ground crews, and it also hampers air efforts, critical when it comes to knocking down fires fast.

"We have the best pilots in the world in our air program. They're able to do a pretty good job of pinpoint accuracy in fighting these fires both our helicopter pilots and air tanker pilots but in these extreme winds it's really really difficult," he said.

So with that in mind, Cal Fire is begging people to be mindful, and help them out during this Red Flag Warning.

"One less spark is one less wild fire. So the public can be very very helpful to us in these times," Capt. Bortisser said.

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