Several major wildfires currently blazing through Carlsbad, San Marcos, Fallbrook and Camp Pendleton continued to burn Wednesday afternoon in North County, San Diego, where over a dozen homes were destroyed. Thousands of people were evacuated from the area as dry winds fanned the flames across the parched brush. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the Carlsbad fire was controlled by 3 p.m. after it had burned about 100 acres, but the threat of a new fire was still high due to hot spots that are littered throughout the area. Officials said that only three homes were destroyed, and at least 15 were damaged. Interstate 15 and state Route 76 reopened at around 4:30 p.m. with California Highway Patrol officers escorting traffic in both directions while firefighters continued to fight a large brush fire between South Mission and Old Highway 395 on Route 76.
San Diegans who are not immediately affected by the wildfires can take precautions to reduce the risk of a major fire breakout. The County of San Diego website suggests that homes need a defensible space around them, which is an area where “combustible vegetation that can spread fire has been cleared, reduced or replaced.” This space is the first line of defense against an advancing fire and needs to be at least 100 feet in radius from the property.
Fire-resistant plants should be planted in the first 50 feet from the home, while natural plant life should fill the other 50-foot space. Proper plant irrigation can prevent plants from igniting, and the plants furthest from the property should be cut and trimmed no more than six inches above the ground. Fire-resistant plants, which are usually drought-resistant also, often have a low sap or resin content, grow close to the ground, and do not have dead leaves, branches or needles that gather in bundles on the ground like dry kindling. Overhanging branches or those that touch the property must be trimmed. San Diego residents who follow this and other guidelines on the county’s website can minimize the risk of blazing wildfires destroying or damaging their homes.
By Nick Ng
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