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San Diego Fire-Rescue preparing ahead of Red Flag warning, heat advisory

Posted at 6:05 PM, Sep 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-27 21:30:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Fire-Rescue is bringing on more firefighters and preparing for a Red Flag Warning and Heat Advisory in the week ahead.

Starting Monday Deputy Fire Chief David Gerboth said, "our helicopters will be on 24 hours a day. We're staffing up five additional brush engines. These are engines that are specially designed to work in these rural areas."

He explained the engines have off-road capabilities and can fight fire in areas similar to Japatul Valley where the Valley Fire burned more than 9,000 acres in a day.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for San Diego County mountains and valleys Monday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Heat Advisory follows, 10 a.m. Tuesday to 8 p.m. Thursday, "91 to 102 degrees for the San Diego valleys."

This combination dire according to Gerboth.

"Near-record high temperatures, a mild Santa Ana event and combine that with our vegetation that burns is reaching critically dry levels. So it's very receptive to burn and it's spreading and burning quickly when it does," Gerboth said.

He said now is the time to have a plan in place to evacuate. He said to ensure you know your evacuation route, have a go-bag and have your important documents in one place.

It is not too late to clear debris from your rain gutters. San Diego Fire-Rescue Media Services Manager Mónica Muñoz added you can "remove combustible materials from around your home and also remove dead branches and leaves from trees and foliage near your home."

Muñoz said this is not the time to use power tools to clear brush on your property, as you could spark a fire.

Gerboth said if you see smoke or feel unsafe do not wait to evacuate.