SAN DIEGO – The Jennings Fire in East County July 11 was a grim reminder that a wildfire can strike at any moment. With extremely high temperatures and ample amounts of dry brush, the San Diego area is at a heightened risk. The Burn Institute urges San Diego County residents to stop, think, prepare and practice what their family would do in the event of a wildfire.
“If you live in an area close to a canyon or open bush land, then you are at a higher risk of experiencing the consequences of a wildfire,” said Susan Day, executive director of the Burn Institute. “During wildfires, evacuations are put in place to protect lives. Your property can be replaced, but your life cannot. Therefore, the Burn Institute strongly recommends that you evacuate when told to do so by authorities, or even earlier if you feel you are at risk.”
Every family should have a proper evacuation plan in place:
- Have a list of important items that they would need to take during an evacuation including prescriptions, eyeglasses, important documents, essentials for pets such as food and leashes, photos and anything else of value to the family.
- Be sure to park their vehicles facing outwards so they have the best visibility when they have to drive away and remember to turn their headlights on when that time comes.
- Know various routes out of their neighborhood, in case the usual roads become blocked. Practice driving these routes before an actual emergency occurs.
- If time permits, they should close all windows and doors when they leave their home, remove curtains and other thin combustibles from windows and leave lights on to help firefighters see their home.
The Burn Institute offers a free 16-page educational “Living With Wildfire” Guide For The Homeowner, in both English and Spanish, that contains information on proper brush clearance, landscaping for fire resistance, how to maintain a defensible space around a home, evacuation tips and much more.
To obtain a free copy of this guide, call the Burn Institute at (858) 541-2277 or download a copy at www.burninstitute.org/fire-and-burn-prevention/wildfire-program.