Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Jim Desmond
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor 

"Safeguarding Our Communities in the Face of Wildfires"


Last updated 11/9/2023 at 3:06pm

In recent weeks, we’ve reveled in the tranquil weather and witnessed the advent of the Santa Ana winds, signaling a heightened risk of wildfires.

While a few blazes have ignited, our gratitude extends to the tireless firefighters who swiftly contained these potentially catastrophic threats.

Throughout my tenure on the Board of Supervisors, fire safety has been an urgent and unwavering priority. Recognizing the pressing need to fortify our region’s defenses against wildfires, we’ve initiated various strategic measures. Our goal has been clear: strengthen preparedness, bolster response mechanisms, and secure the safety of our communities.

A cornerstone of our approach has been developing a comprehensive pre-fire strategy, encompassing the formulation of efficient evacuation routes. These measures are critical in mitigating the impact of wildfires, enabling residents to navigate to safety in times of peril swiftly.

Emphasizing roadside vegetation management along major evacuation corridors has been pivotal. Clearing these areas significantly hampers the rapid spread of fires, creating crucial barriers shielding property and lives.

The pursuit of enhancing firefighting capabilities led to acquiring a twin-engine helicopter – a crucial asset in our battle against wildfires. The ability of this aerial asset to operate during nighttime is a significant advantage, allowing for round-the-clock fire suppression efforts precisely when they are most critical.

Strategic placement and innovative installations have been fundamental in fortifying our firefighting infrastructure. The establishment of a HeloPod at the Rainbow Fire Center in Fallbrook and the installation of a Heli-Hydrant at the San Marcos Fire Department are groundbreaking advancements.

These Heli-Hydrants, connected to water sources and portable HeloPods with substantial water capacity, have revolutionized our firefighting capabilities. These critical assets drastically reduce the downtime for firefighting helicopters, ensuring swifter and more effective fire containment.

The importance of these assets cannot be overstated. They are formidable defenses for our region, fortifying our resilience in wildfires. Experience has shown that a robust arsenal of resources can be the difference between containment and catastrophe.

The tangible impact of our increased resources is evident in our recent history. Together, we can ensure a fire-safe future for generations to come. The looming threat of wildfires demands our urgent attention and decisive action to fortify our defenses and ensure the safety of our communities.

Jim Desmond

– San Diego County District 5 Supervisor

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