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Wildfire Preparedness Symposium slated for March 25

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

With the record local rainfall, wildflowers are blooming early, and the hills and valleys are green. Yes, it’s a beautiful time of the year, with temperatures finally rising. It’s also a condition that could mean trouble when our wildfire season comes.

To inform and educate area residents about emergency situations, community organizations have scheduled a Wildfire Preparedness Symposium on Saturday, March 25, in the library at Fallbrook High School. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

“North County Fire and our community partners are looking forward to hosting this,” said North County Fire Protection District Chief Keith McReynolds. “We will be providing information to help our residents better understand how they can prepare themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods for the next wildfire.”

At the recommendation of County Supervisor Jim Desmond, Rachel Mason, CEO of the Fallbrook Regional Health District, organized an earlier meeting with about two dozen local and county officials to discuss disaster preparedness and evacuation plans for the area. That meeting on Oct. 6 was for professionals. The March 25 meeting will include many of the same experts to share with the public. Mason delegated coordination of the community-wide meeting to the NCFPD.

“With the much needed regional rainfall experienced this winter comes the need for our property owners to be vigilant with clearing dead vegetation,” McReynolds said. “With spring coming, please make an extra effort this year to clear seasonal grasses and vegetation from your properties.”

Mason said the meeting would focus on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, and other emergency situations would also be covered. Evacuation routes and the importance of complying with evacuation orders will be stressed, as well as resources available for seniors, pets, and farm animals.

Plans for working with schools and emergency housing sites will also be shared.

In addition to the NCFPD, Mason said the keynote speakers will be from Cal Fire, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego Office of Emergency Services, and the San Diego County Sheriff's Office.

She said among the agencies expected to be represented – some with display tables – are the Fallbrook Public Utilities District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, and other resources.

The meeting is being held at the library because of its audio visual system and ability to seat a couple hundred people. A free light breakfast will be provided.


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