San Diego Faces ‘Tougher Than Ever' Fire Season

Some may think rain from El Nino-fueled storms would make a potentially destructive wildfire less likely. However, experts say more moisture creates more fuel to feed a wildfire. 

Cal-Fire and San Diego County leaders gathered Thursday to urge residents to get their homes ready now, before it's too late. 

This fire season is being described as tougher than ever. The rain received in this El Nino season has created a lot of growth of grasses. 

“Send a message to everyone in the region, that we are in for a tougher than ever fire season this year because of the rain,” said Dianne Jacob, County Supervisor. 

When we have unusually strong winds, like we have seen this week, firefighters are on alert. 

“Wind is the biggest impact on any fire, structural or wildland, regardless of the direction of the wind,” said Don Butz, Fire Chief Viejas Fire Department. “If we have a fire and we have this wind condition present it's going to be basically driving the fire as fast as the wind is blowing.” 

Firefighters want residents to clear 100 feet of defensible space around homes. 

So remove weeds, dead trees, dry trees that are within that 100-foot space. It could be the difference that saves your home if a fire races through your neighborhood. 

If that space is not there, there's a chance firefighters will decide not to risk their safety and resources in the event of a destructive wildfire like the ones we’ve seen in 2014, 2007 and 2003.

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