City reminds homeowners to clear dead, overgrown brush from homes

Open spaces behind homes inspected since 2008

SAN DIEGO - There is a renewed push to protect local neighborhoods. The city of San Diego is reminding homeowners to clear dead and overgrown brush away from their homes.

Last month's fires are serving as a strong reminder of the importance of clearing that brush.

"This is a continuous project that is year-round," said Deputy Fire Marshal Eddie Villavicencio.

He said the city has regularly inspected the open spaces behind homes since 2008, right after 2007's Witch Fire.

"There's 42,505 homes that all live on canyon rims within the city of San Diego," he said. "There's 19 inspection areas city-wide."

Unfortunately, it takes inspectors 3.8 years to get to all of them. The city would like to employ more inspectors to cover the entire city within two years. 

In the meantime, San Diego is reminding thousands of homeowners they are about to be inspected.

"We send out a flyer ahead of time," said Villavicencio. "Letting them know why we're coming out to their property, what gives us the authority and what code we’re enforcing under."

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Brush management is still the easiest way to avoid losing your home to a fire.

"You're reducing the height of the vegetation, which reduces the heights of the flame."

Since inspectors cannot reach everyone this year, they are sending a letter to everyone reminding them to tackle the brush themselves.

"It's a continuous maintenance," said Villavicencio. "It's not just a one-time and walk away."

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