Report Raises Concerns About County’s Wildfire Response

A just-released report brings up some key concerns about the county’s response to last month’s wildfires. Read the full report here

San Diego County invested $285 million in fire preparedness since the 2007 Cedar Fire, an investment that Supervisor Dianne Jacobs said likely saved a lot of homes and kept more people safe in the May Firestorm.

However, some residents complained the county did not keep fire perimeter maps up-to-date.

“I couldn't get a lot of information that was current,” said San Elijo resident Andy Lisoskie, who evacuated in the Cocos Fire.

Lisoskie downloaded the county’s emergency app, which was launched in 2012, but said, “It’s not terribly useful if they don’t update it.”

Jacobs agreed the county needs to work on getting information to the public and the media more quickly.

“I want us to take a look at where we've been, where we are and, more importantly, where we need to be,” she said.

Cassio Cappelossa of San Elijo said he was pleased with the county’s response.

“They got people out of their homes a lot sooner than the 2007 fires,” Cappelossa said. “We received a reversed call text, all the phones in the house, the cell phones.”

“We were well informed,” he said.

The 18-page “May 2014 San Diego County Wildfires After Action Report” addressed more than 20 issues, including clarifying roles to out-of-area crews, creating perimeter maps in the initial stages of fires and reaching out to vulnerable populations.

The report also discussed the need for more air support.

According to the report, the fires destroyed 65 structures including 46 homes. The estimated cost to the county and cities is more than $28 million.

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