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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

SDG&E holds 2nd Annual Wildfire Safety Event

SDG&E will hold another drive thru event next week in Julian and then two more events in September.

RAMONA, Calif. — With fire season bearing down on California, San Diego Gas and Electric held its first of several drive-thru safety events on Saturday. The event was held at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center.

Attendees of the free event learned about wildfire safety, emergency preparedness and Public Safety Power Shutoffs from industry experts and community partners.

SDG&E also had staff on hand to provide information on:

  • Assistance Programs
  • Aviation Services
  • Emergency Management
  • Energy-efficiency programs
  • Engineering · Environmental Services
  • Infrastructure Projects & Construction
  • Medical Baseline Program
  • Vegetation Management

Part of the event included SDG&E meteorologists, Fire Science, and Climate Adaptation teams talking about what SDG&E is doing to keep the region safe.

Free emergency kit backpacks filled with supplies were given out to attendees. The emergency kit backpacks contained important items such as an emergency radio, a solar cell phone charger and a power inverter.

Cathy Stedham says although there was a long wait, she came to gather info since her house burned down in 2007.

"The evacuation then, people didn't know what to do, so I think these are great you know for information,” Stedham said.

Coming right up to your car as there were rows of black backpacks filled with so many preparedness items from solar cell phone chargers to toilet paper, masks, water, flashlights, sanitizer, wipes and a blanket.

An emergency radio is just want Robert Mitton needed.

"We are in the fire area, so that's one reason why I am out here today,” Mitton said.

Vegetation Management handed out free drought-resistant plants that grow as tall as 15 to 25 feet.

 On hand to talk were members from the Burn Institute, the American Red Cross and CAL-Fire, in addition to a tent where big bags of kettle corn were passed out.

"We want to make this a festive event, but we also want people to understand that there's something very serious behind all of that as last year, we were able to bring everybody in together and talk one on one with our meteorologists and team, but this year, because of social distancing, we had to do like the rest of the world and make some accommodations,” said Denice Menard, SDG&E Communications manager.

SDG&E called to attention the massive fires in recent years.

"We've been seeing a trend toward more intense fire seasons bigger fires, faster fires, so even if you live in a place like Del Mar, Carlsbad, Oceanside, you need to be prepared because those canyons can also be a problem, particularly on hot, dry days like today,” said Steve Vanderburg, SDG&E principal meteorologist.

Some teams notified people of the process of emergency power shutoffs. It's key to know community resource centers are open during emergency events.

"They have a place to come and gather resources like water, snacks, cell phone charging capabilities,” said Mark Mezta, SDG&E fire, science and climate adaptation manager.

Ron and Linda of Ramona loved it.

"This was way more than we expected, I mean all the information was just great,” Linda said.

Organizers said 400 cars rolled through the event carrying well over 500 people. 

SDG&E will hold another drive-thru event next week in Julian and then two more events in September. To RSVP to the future events, click here

Julian Charter School - 1704 Cape Horn Ave, Julian, Ca 92036
Saturday, July 18 | 10 am - 12 pm

Mountain Empire High School - Student Parking Lot - 3305 Buckman Springs Rd, Pine Valley, CA 91962
Saturday, September 12 | 10 am - 12 pm

Viejas Casino - East End Parking Lot Past Casino - 5000 Willows Rd, Alpine, Ca 91901
Saturday, September 26 | 10 am - 12 pm

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