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County Offers Tips on How to Stay Safe During Red Flag Warning

Photo Courtesy: County of San Diego
Photo Courtesy: County of San Diego
San Diego County is once again under a red flag warning through Wednesday, but there are steps residents can take to protect themselves from fire danger.

The National Weather Service extended the warning through 8 p.m. Wednesday for San Diego’s mountains and valleys due to expected strong, gusty winds and low humidity.

Several other warnings and advisories have also been issued. A high wind warning is in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday for San Diego County’s mountains and valleys, and a wind advisory for San Diego’s coastal areas on Tuesday and Wednesday. A heat advisory was issued for coastal areas Tuesday through Thursday and for valleys on Wednesday and Thursday.

Forecasters are predicting strong wind gusts of up to 65 mph and 75 mph Wednesday, along with humidity as low as 5 percent. Temperatures are expected to push beyond 100 degrees at times, according to the National Weather Service.

So, what can you do?

Fire officials recommend residents maintain a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space throughout the year. But just before or once winds get hot and dry, it is not recommended to begin clearing with a mower or weed cutter because they can accidentally spark a fire.

Here are some things residents can do instead:

  • Remove debris, including dried leaves, firewood stacks, or trash from around the home. This includes leaves on their roof and in gutters.
  • Trim away any tree branches that overhang on your home and cut low branches on trees.
  • Dried out bushes or plants should also be pruned or removed.
  • All tree or shrub clippings need to be cleaned up and disposed of in a bin. 

Additionally, residents should be alert and that means staying informed.

One way to do that is by downloading the County’s SD Emergency app from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. The app provides news updates, maps, shelter locations and includes disaster planning templates and interactive checklists. If a regional emergency, such as a wildfire, does occur, updates and other information will be posted at sdcountyemergency.com and sent out via the app.

Complete a family disaster plan template from the app or from ReadySanDiego.org to help your family plan for an emergency including where to meet if you are separated and cannot return home.

You can also stay in touch with official emergency information by registering for AlertSanDiego, the County’s cell phone notification service. By doing that, you will receive any emergency messages that apply to your neighborhood on your cell phone. To find more information about safeguarding your home from wildfires and general disaster preparation, visit ReadySanDiego.org.

More weather forecast information and updates are available at the National Weather Service.

—County News Center

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