Cal Fire captain warns families to have a plan

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SAN DIEGO COUNTY — Thousands of firefighters are on the front lines of more than two dozen major fires across California. A majority are in the northern part of the state but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen closer to home.

LINK: Click here to see a list of where wildfires are burning

FOX 5 spoke with CAL Fire Sunday to see how they’re preparing for the possibility.

“We’ve started our preparations by making sure that our staffing is ready to respond here in San Diego,” Captain Thomas Shoots said.

Shoots is leaving for Monterey County Monday to help with evacuations for people living near the River Fire. It has burned nearly 50,000 acres and is only 15% contained. He’s preparing for the trip as he makes sure all hands are on deck back home.

“We’ve held all our firefighters on duty, staffed up every piece of equipment we could find out here and we’ve been able to respond as usual and make sure that we’re prepared and ready to go,” Shoots said.

He said even though we haven’t seen anything like the devastation that’s happening up north, it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.

“Until we get that good few inches of rain, which probably won’t come for another few months, we’re going to see that potential and our stuff is ready to burn,” Shoots said.

He said CAL Fire works year-round to clear unnecessary debris and vegetation that could help a fire spark. He also wanted to stress the importance of being proactive before it’s too late.

“People watch what’s going on up in the north and really, take some learning lessons from that. We could have the same thing happen down here,” he said. “Don’t wait until you’re told to evacuate to come up with a plan to get your family out. And if you ever feel like you’re in danger, evacuate immediately.”

The Poway Fire Department sent some of their firefighters to Northern California. One crew is in Napa County and the other is in Monterey.

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