SAN DIEGO – San Diego authorities announced Monday that they have purchased 10 new fire engines as part of their preparations for what could be a dangerous summer.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Fire-Rescue Department Chief Colin Stowell were among the city officials at a morning news conference announcing the new firefighting equipment. They showed off eight urban fire engines and two brush rigs. The engines area still being outfitted, but six of them will be sent to city fire stations sometime next week. The department will also be getting a new helicopter later this year, according to the city.
Stowell said that San Diego’s unusually rainy spring is causing heavy growth of grass and brush. When it dries out later this summer, it could provide lots of fuel for wildfires.
“I think we cannot get lulled into a false sense of security just because we’ve had this rain,” Stowell said. “All this has really done is promote more growth down low. The grass there is going to dry out in July and August. We’re still going to have a tough fire season. It may just be delayed a little bit.”
Each of the fire engines carry 500 gallons of water, 2,750 feet of fire hose and include a pump that can spray water up to 1,500 gallons per minute. The brush engines carry 500 gallons of water and 1,650 feet of hose while having the capability to spray 500 gallons of water per minute.
Including the 10 engines, the city has added 33 fire apparatus to the Fire-Rescue Department, including an urban search and rescue apparatus and a hazmat response apparatus in addition to 31 new engines and trucks. The fire apparatus additions will bring the Fire-Rescue Department's vehicle fleet to 132.
The new engines were unveiled on the same day as county officials suspended issuing outdoor residential burning permits in an effort to prevent wildfires.