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Extra firefighters on duty because of high fire danger

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Posted at 10:38 AM, Sep 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-24 13:38:05-04

Additional firefighters were called to duty Saturday morning by the San Diego Fire chief because of a "prolonged period of hot, dry Santa Ana winds forecast for this weekend and much of next week."

Five additional brush engine companies will be on duty at strategic locations across the city until Wednesday, San Diego Fire Rescue Department officials said.

Both fire-rescue helicopters were being staffed and additional pilots, mechanics and fuel truck operators were recalled to assure firefighting flight operations were available 24 hours a day.

The Department Operations Center has been prepared for immediate activation in the event of a prolonged fire, officials said.

"Emergency callback of all firefighters and increased staffing of additional engines is highly likely if local fire weather conditions worsen or fire activity in the region is significant," Chief Brian Fennessy said. "The rain this week decreased the fire danger slightly, but with the high winds, temperatures and low relative humidity that is being forecast, the already drought-stricken vegetation will dry out quickly."

Fennessy also told all mission-critical support staff to be ready to be called back at a moment's notice, and the San Diego Urban Area All-Hazard Incident Management Team members have been placed on alert.

Winds were expected to build today into Sunday, then peak on Monday before weakening mid-week, according to authorities.

Fennessy urged all residents to take precautions, review disaster plans and be ready to evacuate if the situation warrants.