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FEMA ranking shows San Diego County tops list of most at risk for Wildfires in Southern California

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-12 21:47:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's that time of year when the dry heat, along with winds, increases the risk of wildfires.

The National Weather Service said the wildfire threat is elevated in our inland communities into next week.

"Right now, we have all that green grass that we had this winter has died off and is now dead and ready to burn. With this heat and that relative humidity dropping. It's kinda come up with the perfect combination for large fires," said Captain Brett Pascua.

FEMAranks San Diego County as the most at-risk in the state.

With an estimated annual loss of more than three hundred eighty-one million dollars.

In 2021, Cal Fire said the dollar damage was $1,508,303.

Cal Fire is now leveraging the growing technology of AI to respond to fires even quicker.

The technology is being developed by UC San Diego's ALERT California program.

Cal Fire said the AI is looking for anything out of the norm to focus the camera. Heat signatures are one factor that sets off the cameras and alerts first responders.

"Because with all fires, time is of the essence. The quicker we can get to that fire, the smaller we can keep it, so that's our goal keep them small, put them out quickly," he said.

The technology is already being tested at 6 command centers around the state.

In the meantime, Cal Fire offers these tips to folks at home who want to create a defensible space around their homes.

"We like to see people clear at least 50 feet within their homes of dead, dry brush," he said.

Cal Fire has already responded to several vegetation fires.

In the case of a wildfire, you can download the county's emergency notification system to stay up to date with possible evacuations.