SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - With critical fire weather incoming, Cal Fire is taking extra steps to make sure it has the resources and manpower available to respond to fires over the weekend.
October is considered the deadliest month for wildfires in San Diego and weather conditions this weekend will be prime as the temperature rises, humidity levels fall and Santa Ana winds blow in the region. The combination of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity meant that any wildfires that erupted likely would spread "rapidly (and) with extreme behavior," according to the NWS.
So Cal Fire is making sure it's ready to roll. Cal Fire's Kendall Bortisser said the agency is canceling firefighters' days off so that it has more staff available. As for non-human resources, the agency has created a strike team of brush engines that will patrol the city of San Diego, and it has also exercised its agreement with U.S. Navy and Marines Corps to mobilize six military helicopters that can assist in fire suppression.
Fire agencies are asking residents in San Diego to exercise common sense, too, in an effort to limit fires started by people. They are urging people not to throw cigarette butts out of their car window, not to use their lawn mowers during the hottest time of the day, and most importantly, have an evacuation plan ready to go.
"They have to know what they are going to take with them in the event that somebody knocks on their door and says 'Hey, you need to get out of your house right now!' and not have to run around the house trying to figure out where photos are and important documents are and things like that," Bortisser said.
Cal Fire said it has 20 engines that deployed to help fight fires in Northern California, but said that it still has plenty of resources here at home.
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