Borrego Sun - Since 1949

"Agricultural Pass"


Last updated 9/19/2022 at 1:14pm

We’ve taken many steps at the County when it comes to fire safety, including adding new firefighting helicopters, increasing defensible space, and increasing cameras in the backcountry. Last week, we added another tool, the agricultural pass.

During a wildfire or other disaster, the Ag Pass allows commercial livestock or agriculture operators access to evacuated areas to care for crops and animals.

Phase 1 started last week with commercial cattle and equestrian operations and managerial employees in the unincorporated area.

If you’re interested in applying, you can do so, by visiting the County of San Diego website.

All other commercial agriculture and livestock operations in the unincorporated area will be in phase 2 next year in the spring.

Holding a pass doesn’t authorize an individual to ignore evacuation orders and it doesn’t guarantee access. Since conditions can quickly change, the final decision on access will be determined by law enforcement and fire personnel at each roadblock and within the evacuated area.

I have heard many stories during emergencies where farmers or ranchers decided to remain on their property to protect their assets because they feared they would not be let back in to care for crops or animals. This is dangerous but understandable. The goal is with this AG pass, there will be better collaboration and trust between farmers and law enforcement officials.

We want everyone to be safe – and I believe implementing this AG Pass program will save lives.

Jim Desmond

– San Diego County District 5 Supervisor