Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Impending Heat Wave Brings Fire Danger


Last updated 7/21/2023 at 10:18am

High temperatures often lead to high fire danger. Temperatures will rise and continue to build everywhere in San Diego County but particularly in the deserts, mountains and inland valleys. The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued an excessive heat warning for inland mountains and deserts.

“We remind people to have a plan for the heat,” said County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H. “Take it easy, stay out of the sun, and stay hydrated. Check on your family, friends or neighbors who are older adults, have infants or children, or have chronic health conditions. These folks are the groups most prone to heat stress, and if you’re one of them, we suggest you also take extra steps to avoid heat illness.”

Not using power tools – including lawn mowers – outside during dangerous fire weather is recommended to avoid sparks igniting grass or brush fires.

Maintain defensible fire-space around homes by removing dead leaves, debris and other flammable items that can be ignited from an ember.

If you do choose to cut away and remove dead and dying plants near your homes or structures, use hand tools only.

Be particularly careful with smoking materials to avoid accidentally starting a fire.

Never pull your vehicle over in grass as it can ignite a grass fire. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained as faulty catalytic converters have been a major cause of accidental fires in San Diego County.

If you have a trailer on your vehicle, make sure the chains don’t drag on the ground while driving and spark a fire.

Be Emergency Ready

County public health and animal officials offer various tips to keep yourself, your friends and family and pets safe from heat illnesses.

County health officials offer the following tips to stay cool:

Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day.

Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don’t wait until you are thirsty.

Take cool showers.

Never leave a child, elderly person or pet unattended in a car.

Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day.

Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun.

Avoid using the oven to cook.

Avoid being out during peak heat hours.

Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler.

Do not rely on electric fans for cooling if temperatures exceed 90 degrees.

If someone is showing signs of heat-related illness, call 9-1-1 and begin cooling the individual by:

Moving them to a shaded area

Spraying with cool water and fanning them

Placing them in a cool shower if they are alert

Monitoring the body temperature, and continuing cooling efforts, and

Do NOT give the victim fluids to drink

An important factor in being prepared is to stay informed in the event of a regional emergency.

Residents can download the County’s SD Emergency app in English or Spanish from the Google Play or Apple App stores. The app provides news updates, maps, shelter locations and includes disaster planning templates and interactive checklists. If a regional emergency, such as a wildfire, does occur, updates and other information will be posted at and sent out via the app.

Register for AlertSanDiego or at ListoSanDiego, the County’s cell phone notification service. By doing that, you will receive any emergency messages such as evacuation warnings that apply to your neighborhood on your cell phone.

Don’t wait until an emergency, when you’re already stressed to figure out what you need to do in the event of an evacuation. Complete a family disaster plan template from the app or from to help your family plan for an emergency including where to meet if you are separated and cannot return home.

You can also stay in touch with official emergency information by following CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire on Twitter in the event of a fire. More weather forecast information and updates are available at the National Weather Service.

To find more information about safeguarding your home from wildfires and general disaster preparation, visit

The County and its partners have opened Cool Zones throughout the region to help San Diegans keep cool during heat waves. People can enter their address once they navigate to the map to see locations near them.

Residents can call 2-1-1 to request information about Cool Zones or schedule a free ride to a Cool Zone if they lack access to transportation.

You might be interested in: