San Diego leaders plan to staff a new brush fire crew in San Pasqual Valley, an area that’s prone to fires and in need of additional resources.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego County officials – including San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts and San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey – will meet Wednesday to make the announcement.
The City-County pilot project is designed to improve emergency response times in the remote area of San Pasqual Valley during peak fire season months.
Currently, the closest fire station to San Pasqual Valley is the Rancho Bernardo Fire Station No. 33 off Bernardo Center Drive, about 10 miles away.
In peak fire season, the new brush fire crew could be a major asset in getting firefighters on the ground faster to battle blazes. The expansive, rural area is home to vast vegetation – fuel that can cause fires to spread quickly.
The City of San Diego said the new brush fire engine began serving San Pasqual Valley early last month. The new engine includes four firefighters serving the San Pasqual Valley area. The crew will be stationed at the County Fire Authority’s San Pasqual Fire Station No. 93 on San Pasqual Valley Road, east of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
The addition of the fire crew will also help alleviate the work load at the Rancho Bernardo Fire Station so those firefighters can focus on that community, and travel less out to San Pasqual. The Rancho Bernardo Fire Station has the largest territory of any station in the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD), the City said.
Often times, the City of San Diego relies on mutual-aid agreements with other fire agencies to respond to emergency calls in San Pasqual Valley, so having a permanent crew in that region will be a big help.
SDFD Chief Brian Fennessy and Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham, of the San Diego Unit, will also meet with Faulconer and county and city leaders Wednesday to discuss the new brush fire crew.