San Diego leaders, fire officials urge property owners to prepare for fires

Owners asked to obey brush management rules

SAN DIEGO - Mayor Bob Filner and San Diego fire officials said Friday that about 2,400 properties were being inspected to make sure the owners are complying with brush management regulations.

The homes, many in high fire-risk areas such as Carmel Mountain Ranch and Rancho Penasquitos, recently were sent pamphlets outlining the importance of clearing brush at least 100 feet from structures, they said at a news conference. Repeated violations could bring a $300 fine.

"Our (firefighters) have to be helped by the community," Filner said. "We have to protect our own homes."

Homeowners also need to pick up leaves, pull up dry brush, get rid of dead shrubs and trees, and remove debris from rooftops and gutters, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Chief Javier Mainar said firefighters often have to make quick decisions on which homes to protect.

"They will look to see at what preparations you have made in advance and use their resources to the best benefit that they can," Mainar said. "So please do help us -- it's safer for us."

Mainar said the inspections will take place this month and next month.

Fire officials said about 45,000 properties in the city of San Diego are subject to brush clearance mandates.

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