BY SHERRI LIGHTNER
Councilwoman, 1st District
Fire season is here again, and volunteers in Rancho Peñasquitos and University City have been hard at work organizing their neighborhoods to create the first community canyon fire watch in San Diego.
The idea is simple: Volunteers will watch the canyons in their communities from strategic vantage points and immediately call emergency services if they spot any signs of fire or suspicious activity in the canyons. This will aid the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department in responding as quickly as possible to fires in the canyons.
Our office has been working with Rancho Peñasquitos and University City community leaders and Fire-Rescue to help facilitate these new programs. We are pleased that so many volunteers have come together in each community to help protect their neighborhoods from the dangers of fires.
The Fire-Rescue and Police Departments will provide special training to community members in how to spot and report fires and fire-related activity. Volunteers will sign up for shifts to monitor the canyons around the clock from September through November.
The idea for the community canyon fire watch originated in Rancho Peñasquitos, where a Fire Safe Council has been actively working since last year to educate the neighborhood about fire safety and prevention measures. It was great to help organize the first community canyon fire watch meeting in Rancho Peñasquitos, where community leaders joined forces with us to create this safeguard.
Information about this proactive approach to fire prevention inspired leaders in University City to take action, and it has been exciting working with them to launch their own community canyon fire watch.
We hope to work with communities throughout our district to start their own volunteer groups. If you are interested in starting a canyon fire watch in your neighborhood, please contact our office at (619) 236-6611 or sherrilightner @sandiego.gov.
To learn more about the Rancho Penasquitos and University City efforts, please visit our Web site, www.sandiego.gov/cd1.