Extra local fire staffing ends, push for fire preparation doesn' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Extra local fire staffing ends, push for fire preparation doesn't

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - Fire crews remained on high alert as warm, gusty and dry conditions made the region ripe for wildfires.

The National Weather Service activated a 26-hour "red flag" warning to alert the public to local combustion danger in the county's mountains and valleys on Monday morning. In preparation for the increased fire danger, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department increased staffing numbers to help with fire assistance.

The staffing increase ends Tuesday, but the department said it will continue to monitor weather conditions and will increase staffing again if the weather changes.

Fires burning throughout California are reminders of how quickly wildfires can spread and threaten lives, and local officials are urging San Diegans to make sure they are prepared in the event of an evacuation. Most fire-related deaths occur because people wait too long to evacuate rather than leaving early and giving your family its best chance for survival, not to mention giving firefighters more room to operate.

"A lot of people don't consider the smoke," one firefighter said. "When people are trying to leave their homes, they may not have any visibility to actually drive safely, so that's why we try to get people out early and we just hope that people comply with that."

Having an evacuation plan in place can also be the difference between life and death. Experts say you should have two safe routes for exiting your home and you should practice evacuating, especially if you have kids.

Check out these links for more preparation tips that will help keep you and your family safe.

Wildfire Checklist - English & Spanish

Be Red Cross Ready

Fire Evacuation Checklist

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