The Santa Ana winds are at it again, and a brush fire/red flag warning has been issued for the city of San Diego, in case burning should spread. City fire chief, Colin Stowell, expressed his concern and authority over the situation through recent tweets, assuring San Diegans that the issue is being monitored closely and the fire department is watching over the city. If the winds should cause brush fires to spread, the amount of time to evacuate is minimal.
Brush fires spread quickly to begin with and with the wild and unyielding Santa Ana winds in full play, it’s impossible to know how much more quickly things could escalate. In fact, Chief Stowell claims that if a fire should erupt, the city may only have mere minutes to flee.
Staying Ahead of the Fire
San Diego residents are urged to practice emergency fire plans with family, in school, and at work. Knowing all your exits, where fire emergency gear and extinguishers are located, and other fire safety related information is extremely important. Having a safe muster point, and an evacuation plan is also vital.
An evacuation plan should include an emergency supply kit containing food and water for travel, spare gas, and a vehicle to travel in. San Diegans without vehicles should partner up with others who do or find other methods of transportation during an evacuation.
The fire department is also jumping onto the preparedness wagon, adding an overtime strike team including 5 trucks with 4 firefighters. The emergency measures will also include a battalion chief on each additional rig.
Weather and Fire
The San Diego fire brigade may not be meteorologists, but this time of the year it’s crucial for them to monitor the weather, especially when brush fires are prevalent. The National Weather Service assists with this, giving up to the minute and in depth reports on weather changes in the San Diego area.
When a red flag warning is in effect, citizens are asked to keep all power tools put away and out of use. This includes lawn mowers, chain saws, and any other electrical appliances which could spark or cause electrical damage in the wind storm. With the dry and windy season comes the risk of rogue fires, even from minimal sparking.
The fire department warns San Diegans to quickly extinguish any spark or flame they see, no matter its miniature size or severity. For large fires, citizens are urged to contact emergency services rather than trying to battle it themselves.
This red flag warning is spanning the entire state of California. With little to no rainfall and low humidity levels, the dry heat and high winds are becoming a serious problem. Hospitals and San Diego nurses are on full alert, despite the recent lawsuit nurses initiated toward the local hospitals in a plea for better conditions. All hospital staff is expected to participate in the emergency drills and have the best interest of patients in mind at all time should an evacuation of hospitals be required.