Firefighting agencies on high alert, says Cal Fire

Red Flag Warning triggers calls to exercise extreme caution, be prepared for power outages

Firefighting agencies throughout the state will be on high alert this weekend, said Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler.

“This is the first Red Flag Warning of what is shaping up to be one of the most challenging fire seasons in many years,” said Mohler. “High winds can turn a spark into a devastating wildfire in just minutes, so we’re calling on San Diegans to be extremely vigilant in the high fire-risk areas of the county.”

The Red Flag Warning is in effect in Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Julian, Ranchita, Warner Springs, Valley Center, Fallbrook, Escondido, El Cajon, Alpine, Potrert, Campo and Descanso. The National Weather Service issued the high fire danger warning from noon today through 6 p.m. tomorrow.

During the Red Flag Warning, Cal Fire urges everyone to exercise extreme caution outdoors to prevent wildfires. A few reminders and fire prevention tips include:

•Don’t mow or use a weed-eater to trim dry grass on windy days.

•Never pull over your vehicle in dry grass.

•Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on “No Burn Days” or when it’s windy.

•Make sure all portable gasoline-powered equipment have spark arresters.

Cal Fire and San Diego Gas & Electric also remind residents that power outages can be expected during extreme wind conditions. SDG&E encourages customers to be prepared by having the following:

•Battery-powered emergency lighting (or flashlights, at a minimum);

•A portable or battery-powered radio;

•A wind-up or battery-powered clock;

•Nonperishable foods and water (including a manual can opener);

•Pet food;

•A first aid kit; and

•A telephone that does not depend on electricity.

SDG&E customers can visit sdge.com/outages to check the status of a power outage, download SDG&E’s mobile app at sdge.com/mobileapps or connect with SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-SDGE (7343), on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook. In addition, customers in the high fire-risk area can monitor wind speeds at sdge.com/weatheroutage.

Area residents are asked to report any downed lines immediately to 1-800-411-7343. If you encounter a downed line, always assume it is live and never touch a fallen line or a person or vehicle in contact with the line.

For more ways to help prevent and prepare for wildfires, visit ReadyForWildfire.org or www.fire.ca.gov.

   
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