SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Local fire agencies are stepping up staffing for the potentially dangerous weather ahead.
"The fuels are extremely dry this year and extremely plentiful, it's a very bad combination," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief John Fisher.
Firefighters across San Diego County are geared up for the first Santa Ana of the fire season with additional staffing.
"We're experiencing the beginnings of a mild Santa Ana here with high temperatures, low humidities and some increased winds from the east over the next couple of days," said Fisher. "Because of that, San Diego Fire-Rescue has upstaffed five of our brush rigs, or type 3 fire engines... as well as two of our water tenders - large water trucks - which can each carry 3,000 gallons of water."
Cal Fire crews are also ready for what could be an explosive fire season.
"The fuels are ready to go," said Cal Fire Captain Jon Heggie.
An abundance of rain this past winter led to a heavy grass crop, which is now, all dried out.
"So, what we have now is those light flashy fuels, which is going to drive the fire, especially behind a Santa Ana fire, that much faster," said Heggie. "Your reaction time to evacuate will be limited."
Which is why firefighters say it is crucial, that if you and your family haven't yet prepared, now, is the time to do so.
"October is the deadliest time of the year for fires," said Heggie. "As we're approaching that time of year, we just want people to be paying attention to their environment, have an evacuation plan, have an evacuation route, and have a secondary route, so if your first one is cut off, maybe you can use your secondary evacuation route."
Firefighters suggest familiarizing yourself with the "Ready, Set, Go" program, which means you'll be "ready" with an evacuation plan, "set" so that you're ready to review that plan and execute it and "go" meaning you evacuate as soon as you can if needed.
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