SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: June 11, 2008
CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108
COUNTY BUYS EIGHT FIRE ENGINES FOR BACKCOUNTRY AREAS
SAN DIEGO – It will be another dry summer and fall, and San Diego County will once again contend with the ever-present threat of wildfire. This year, eight new, four-wheel drive fire engines will help protect the county’s most rural and mountainous unincorporated areas.
“These trucks are proof positive of the County’s aggressive efforts to make our region the best prepared it can be for fire and other disasters,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. “Whether it’s dead tree removal, upgrades to important communications equipment, additional choppers and planes or the reorganization of the many fractured fire districts in our rural areas, important changes have taken place and will continue to take place,” Jacob said.
The new engines, bought by the County of San Diego through its County Fire Enhancement Program, cost $3 million, and were paid for using money from the County’s General Fund and Community Development Block Grant funds.
“These new fire engines are critical to the safety of this County," said Supervisor Bill Horn. "They couldn't have come at a better time. The engines, along with our helicopters and soon-to-arrive air tankers, are vitally important to increasing our first strike capability during the Santa Ana wind season."
Engines will go to the Julian Fire Protection District; Ocotillo Wells Volunteer Fire Company; Rural Fire Protection District; Ranchita Volunteer Fire Company; and Shelter Valley Volunteer Fire Company. The eighth, a County reserve engine, will be used by Cal Fire in Warner Springs.
The engines will replace an aging fire fleet, and provide agencies a reliable vehicle for structural and wild land fire protection, as well as medical aid calls and traffic accidents.