Cal Fire crews prepare for hot, dry weekend

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SAN DIEGO — As parts of San Diego County experience a record-breaking heat wave, Cal Fire crews are gearing up for what could be a dangerous weekend.

As of Thursday, a heat advisory is in effect for the county’s inland areas.

El Cajon resident Ryan Nelson and his family are concerned because of what’s in their backyard.

“We’re on a nature preserve that’s just behind us, so that comes right up to the back of our property. They’ve done some cutting but it’s definitely a concern,” Nelson said.

Nelson has lived in El Cajon for roughly 10 years. He knows all too well that heat and dry land are the two perfect ingredients for fires.

Smaller fires are already starting to spark like the one that happened earlier Thursday near a treatment facility in Spring Valley. Crews were able to contain it to three acres, but the threat of potentially bigger fires still exists.      

“We know this could be a problem for us this weekend so we’ve increased our staffing, we’ve increased our engine staffing, our dozers, our hand crews, our aircraft — everything to make sure that we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll if something does happen,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Thomas Shoots.

Cal Fire says they still need the public to do their part by staying safe and holding off from doing something that could ignite a blaze.

“Creating defensible space around their house, which is something we advocate and really want people to do, but a weekend like this where it’s hot, dry and potentially windy … it isn’t the time to do it. Make sure you’re checking your chains and not dragging … any kind of work that you’re doing outside to create a spark,” Shoots said.

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