Fighting Fire with Fire
In our continuing effort to improve public safety, I’m pleased to say the Board gave unanimous approval of my recommendation to create a plan and find funding for a regional controlled or “prescribed” burn and brush clearance plan to reduce the threat of catastrophic wild fires.
I based my request on results of a study by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and maps from County Planning and Land Use. These maps show five widespread areas of San Diego County that have the potential to explode into major wild fires.
I’ve always been concerned about the threat of accumulated fuel in our region and these studies reinforced my belief that we need to be more proactive in clearing brush and other combustible natural fuels. We can do that with controlled burns, clearing fire breaks, and removing dead or dying trees and vegetation. An ounce of prevention is worth a neighborhood of houses.
The UCR study in particular showed how over the years, fires in Mexico have reduced large areas of fuel thus eliminating the threat of catastrophic wild fires. While what has happened in Mexico is not fire management, we can see what takes place when areas are burned away. I think we can apply that principle in a controlled way for our County.
I’m pleased to say that after presenting this idea to federal, state, and local agencies; we all agreed that more controlled burns and vegetation management needs to take place.
The recommendation asked the Chief Administrator Officer to return to the Board within 90 days with a plan for comprehensive vegetation management that would include mechanical, biological and prescribed fire into the land management plans for all existing and future County owned lands and Multiple Species Conservation Program lands.
It’s an effective way of fighting fire with fire.
In this edition of the “Word,” news of upcoming aerial resources in
fighting fires, training for people on the ground, improved facilities
for the Borrego Springs Library, a salute to a man who brings smiles
to needy children and a national award for the people of Carlsbad. I
hope your summer is off to a great start.