SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- Flags are being flown at half-staff around the country today to honor fallen firefighters and to promote emergency preparedness.
Sunday is also the kick-off of National Fire Prevention Week.
Cher Smith's home in Crest has a 360-degree view of nature. It's beautiful to look at, but dangerous during fire season.
"Somebody is throwing a cigarette out, sparks from a car, whatever," Smith said. "There's always that fear that something is all of a sudden going to cause a fire to get out of control."
In the last month, she and her son-in-law spent hours clearing up the dead brush on her 2.5 acre property.
"We just barely made a dent on what needed to be done," Smith said.
Smith said she couldn't afford to pay a landscaper to finish the job, but that all changed when she looked out her window earlier this week.
"They are all up there like ants on the mountain bringing down the brush," Smith said.
She saw CALFIRE and inmate fire crews working earnestly, with shovels in hand, to create a safe, defensible space.
The space won't just create a defensible space for Smith's home, but for the entire Crest community.
"I said, 'You have no idea how jazzed I am that you guys are doing this for us!'" Smith said enthusiastically.
That's because just last month, she watched the Dehesa fire, creeping up toward her home. Also, back in 2003, her son-in-law lost his childhood home to a wildfire.
"A lot of people in Crest had their homes burned, so I think people are on high alert and sensitive to the dangers," Smith said.
That's why to kick off National Fire Prevention Week, she wants to thank the fire service for their hard work. She also wants to remind her East County neighbors to be prepared.
"I like to see our tax dollars going to being proactive, rather than having them create these fire barriers after the fact," Smith said.