SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department will have an extra helicopter crew on duty as temperatures skyrocket this weekend and more personnel to respond to wildfires.
Fire Chief Brian Fennessy has ordered SDFRD's second helicopter to be available during the upcoming heat wave. It was to be put into use full-time starting next month, but officials moved the date up due to anticipated high temperatures and dry fuel conditions increasing the risk of fires, according to a statement from the SDFRD.
Despite El Nino rain, the fire chief says there is a lot of dead brush and that Mount Soledad and surrounding areas are at high risk.
"Mission Valley has a lot of dead brush out there, as well as, Scripps Ranch, Black Mountain areas that burned in 2003 and 2007, those areas have grown. Throughout the city there's decadent dead dying brush in the entire county," Chief Fennessy said.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 90's in the mountains and up to 100 degrees in the valleys, with the hottest day on Monday, the first day of summer.
Five additional brush engine crews and one more battalion chief will be on duty for possible wildfires in San Diego.
Firefighters expect a spike in helicopter rescues in open spaces and cliff areas over the weekend. They say it's because more people will visit our beaches and go on hikes in our canyons and parks for summer vacation.
The chief says drink plenty of water, don't throw lit cigarettes or other fire producing items near dry brush and call 911 if you notice flames in your area.