Opinion: Reducing the risk of fire in our neighborhoods


By Sherri Lightner

Councilwoman, District 1

Residents of Carmel Valley and Rancho Penasquitos are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of our city. However, neighbors living in close proximity to canyons and open space have the added responsibility of working together to take appropriate measures to reduce the threat of fire.

Last fall, a group of volunteers distributed fire preparedness information door-to-door at canyon-rim homes. Please contact me if you would like a copy of the “Before the Threat” information that was distributed. Additional information about how to create defensible space on your property can be found at



During the past year, Fire Prevention Code Compliance Officers from the City have counseled homeowners on the preparation and maintenance of defensible space around their home. They have responded to issues such as removal of overgrown brush, pampas grass, and palm fronds and provided advice on brush thinning. For more information, or to make a brush management complaint, please contact the City’s Fire Hazard Advisor at (619) 533-4444.

By proactively “hardening” our homes, maintaining awareness and immediately reporting any sign of fire, we can reduce the risk of fire in our neighborhood.

In other news, the City Council recently approved the acquisition of right of way for the future alignment and widening of Carmel Valley Road between Lopelia Meadows Parkway and Via Abertura. This project will be constructed in stages, and four lanes are scheduled to be built in the first stage. Our office is now pushing for the design’s completion and expeditious construction and will be working with City staff to keep the community updated on its progress. We have heard from many community members who are looking forward to the improved traffic flow and beautification that this project will provide.

Finally, I will be hosting a community coffee in Torrey Hills on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, 11025 Vista Sorrento Parkway. No appointment is necessary, and I look forward to discussing any issues of importance to you.

If we can be of assistance, please contact our office at (619) 236-6611 or