Tag Archives: san marcos fire department

San Marcos joins regional fire agencies in regional Wildland Fire Preparedness Drill

The San Marcos Fire Department joined numerous fire agencies across the region, in coordination with the Pala Band of Mission Indians, in an annual San Diego County Wildland Fire Preparedness Exercise that took place from Wednesday, April 25 through Friday, April 27. Numerous emergency service agencies from throughout San Diego County will come together to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

SMFD participates in San Diego County
 Wildland Fire Drill
 The San Marcos Fire Department’s mobile emergency operation center served as a command center during the regional drill.
Battalion Chief Bill Frederick participates in regional wildland fire drill
 Battalion Chief Bill Frederick participates in regional wildland fire drill.

“This exercise provides a unique opportunity for the region’s fire resources to come together and train as one team,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

Regional firefighting forces joined together for training on inclusive of emergency communications, firefighter survival, structure defense, and hose deployments under simulated emergency conditions.

The area’s firefighting aircraft also participated in this three day training event. These water- dropping aircraft joined ground forces in coordinated fire attacks under simulated fire conditions.

“Fire season is year round and this drill helps us improve regional fire response and identify opportunities to improve,” VanWey said.

With approximately 750 firefighters participating in the training exercises over three days, this training event is a key element in maintaining firefighter preparedness as the region moves into the hot, dry summer months that bring the traditional fire season.

For the ninth year in a row, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has provided funding for the event. The utility company is again sending line crews and utility equipment to participate in one of the training scenarios to educate first-responders on what to do if they come across downed power lines while battling a wildland fire.

“San Marcos is no stranger to wildfire and it is up to all of us to help keep ourselves, our property and the community safe,” continued VanWey. “Residents are also an important part of keeping the community safe, especially during a disaster.”

Now is the time to review family emergency plans, prepare a supply kit, and inventory home items such as important documents and medications so that you would want to take with you so you are ready to go if told to do so by a public safety official.

Homeowners are asked to create and maintain at least 150 feet of defensible space – but to do so only early in the morning when the grasses are still dewy to prevent sparking a fire in the dry heat of the day.

Residents should register all cell phones with AlertSanDiego to receive emergency notifications. This is especially important if landlines are no longer in the home. Residents can also download the SDEmergency App.

During an emergency, residents should stay updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the city’s website; following the city on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with the handle @sanmarcoscity; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared or visit ReadySanDiego.org. For red flag warning updates or to learn how you can do your part to reduce wildfire risk, visit CALFIRE’s website.

Defensible space inspections help keep homeowners safe in San Marcos

Defensible space inspections help keep homeowners safe in San Marcos

San Marcos, CA –In the last year, the San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD) conducted nearly 830 defensible space inspections of properties located in the city’s highest wildfire risk areas, as determined by the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Photo caption: San Marcos Fire Inspector Randy Hill conducts a defensible space audit on a home in a high fire risk area.  

Since January, the San Marcos Fire Department has sent notices to 250 properties asking owners to remove dead and overgrown vegetation and maintain the required 150 feet around a home to help reduce or slow the spread of wildfire.

“San Marcos is no stranger to wildfire and it is up to all of us to help keep ourselves, our property and the community safe,” said Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

During the defensible space audits, recommendations on how to improve or maintain defensible space are provided to the homeowner using a checklist and photos based on an inspection of the property.  If a homeowner is not home or cannot participate in the inspection while fire department personnel are on site, a copy of the report will be mailed to the owner.

Free of charge, homeowners do not need to be present as inspectors are able to assess defensible space requirements from the street or an adjacent property. Inspections are conducted only by uniformed fire department personnel to help educate homeowners on opportunities to minimize risk of wildfire.

“Creating defensible space is critical for a home’s chance of surviving a wildfire and reduces risk to our firefighters responding,” continued VanWey.


Photo Caption: Defensible space saved this home during the May 2014 Cocos Fire.

In addition to local inspections, CALFIRE will coordinate inspections with SMFD for residents living in the State Responsibility Area. CALFIRE’s main goal will be to educate homeowners and evaluate properties to ensure owners maintain the required defensible space – 100 feet for homes built prior to 2005 and 150 feet for homes built after 2005.

Homeowners can use the following tips to help homes survive a wildfire:

  • Maintain 150-feet of defensible space around all structures (100 feet for homes built prior to 2005).
  • Clear all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves and rain gutters.
  • Trim tree branches 6 feet from the ground.
  • Use trimming, mowing and power equipment before 10 a.m.
  • Landscape with fire resistant and drought tolerant plants that require little water.
  • Remove branches away from roofs and 10 feet from the chimney.
  • Keep wood piles and flammable materials at least 30 feet from the home.
  • Use fire ignition resistant building material.

For more emergency preparedness information, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared or call the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

San Marcos residents encouraged to attend annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza

Leave fireworks to the experts

Residents encouraged to attend annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza

With Fourth of July only a few days away, the San Marcos Fire Department reminds all residents that fireworks are best left to experts.

“Fireworks are extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious burns and disfiguring injuries,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “They can also ignite dry brush, grasses and dead tree material and cause serious fires in our community.”

All residents should know that all fireworks — even those labeled “consumer” or “safe and sane” — are illegal in San Diego County. This includes cone fountains, cylindrical fountains, roman candles, skyrockets, firecrackers, mine and shells, helicopter-type rockets, sparklers, poppers and revolving wheels.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, including children and teens, are injured every year while using consumer fireworks. Even something as “harmless” as a sparkler, which burns at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause critical injuries and pose a serious fire hazard. Additionally, two out of five fires reported on Independence Day are started by fireworks.

Residents are encouraged to enjoy the city’s FREE professional fireworks show during the annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza at Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Drive, on Tuesday, July 4.

Entertainment and festivities begin at 6 pm with the firework show at 9 pm. The evening’s free entertainment featuring Liquid Blue, a show band, will begin at 6 pm.  Children’s activities include face painting, party jumps and more.  Food concessions will include hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, snow cones and more.

“Offered for more than 36 years of spirited family fun, this annual event offers residents a way to safely enjoy fireworks while celebrating our nation’s independence,” said Community Services Director Buck Martin. “With children’s activities, food for purchase and a great pyrotechnic display, this event has something for everyone.”

The fireworks show is entirely dependent on community donations.  To contribute, please send tax-deductible donations by June 26 to: San Marcos Fireworks Fund, 3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos 92069.  Donations of $25 or more will receive a commemorative item.

For more fire prevention information, contact the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

To learn more about the city’s Fourth of July celebration or to donate to the fireworks show, visit www.gofundme.com/SM2017Fireworks.

Small San Elijo Hills Vegetation Fire

IMG_5749Small San Elijo Hills Vegetation Fire is outDSC_1598

A small vegetation fire was quickly contained at the entrance to San Elijo Hills, near the entrance to the old recycling plant South East of Albertsons. Calls came in from San Elijo Hills residents around 2:34 PM Sunday. A quick response from San Marcos Fire, and Elfin Forest Fire Department, quickly contained the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this stage. Please report any suspicious activity to San Marcos Fire Department.

UPDATE 3:00 PM-The fire has flared up calling air support and help from CAL Fire. Please stay off the roads so emergency responders can get in fast.

Update 5:05 PM:

‪#‎MarketFire‬ Update: After an initial containment of a fire in the San Elijo Hills area, north county fire resources and ‪#‎CalFire‬ were deployed to 1500 block of San Elijo Road. Forward progress of the fire has been halted at four acres. No evacuations have been issued; no injuries or damage to property reported.

As fire crews work to achieve full containment and mop up, expect a road closure at the south entrance of San Elijo Road for at least two hours.

Leve fireworks to the experts this Independence Day

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With Fourth of July only a few days away, the San Marcos Fire Department reminds all residents that fireworks are best left to experts.

“Fireworks are extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious burns and disfiguring injuries,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “They can also ignite dry brush, grasses and dead tree material and cause serious fires in our community.”

All residents should know that all fireworks — even those labeled “consumer” or “safe and sane” — are illegal in San Diego County. This includes cone fountains, cylindrical fountains, roman candles, skyrockets, firecrackers, mine and shells, helicopter-type rockets, sparklers, poppers and revolving wheels.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, including children and teens, are injured every year while using consumer fireworks. Even something as “harmless” as a sparkler, which burns at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause critical injuries and pose a serious fire hazard. Additionally, two out of five fires reported on Independence Day are started by fireworks.

Residents are encouraged to enjoy the city’s FREE professional fireworks show during the annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza at Bradley Park on Monday, July 4. Entertainment and festivities begin at 6 pm with the firework show at 9 pm. Bradley Park is located on Linda Vista Drive between Rancho Santa Fe Road and Pacific Street.

For more fire prevention information, contact the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

To learn more about the city’s Fourth of July celebration, visit www.san-marcos.net/fireworks.

San Marcos Fire Department responds to early morning commercial fire

Official_Seal_of_the_City_of_San_Marcos,_CA

At approximately 2 am on May 24, a commercial fire broke out at 900 Armorlite Drive. Response teams included the San Marcos, Carlsbad and Vista Fire Departments. No injuries have been reported.

With four engine companies, two truck companies, one medic ambulance and two battalion chiefs responding, crews contained the fire within 22 minutes.

The fire’s cause is currently under investigation by the San Marcos Fire Department but it is not considered suspicious. Initial damage to the structure’s contents has been estimated at $400,000 with structural damage of $100,000 for total loss of approximately $500,000.

As the fire’s investigation continues, city staff will be working with the business on temporary relocation possibilities and recovery options.

Strong Wind Storm

The biggest wind storm in the last 15 years hit San Elijo Hills last night. Winds gusting 40-50 MPH whipped through The Hills from 3:00 PM Sunday till early Monday Morning.

A transformer fire was reported near Double Peak School site on Attebury Drive, the San Marcos Fire Department quickly responded at 10:45 PM Sunday.

A swift water rescue was performed for three teens in Elfin Forest area

Shared neighborhood fences blew down in San Elijo Hills. Power was out in parts of Elfin Forest and Questhaven.

What did you experience?

San Marcos Fire Department seeks volunteers for trauma support team

CAL Fire

San Marcos Fire Department seeks volunteers for trauma support team 

San Marcos, CA – The City of San Marcos Fire Department is seeking volunteers to add to its current trauma support team. An informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 28 from 6 to 8 pm at San Marcos Fire Station #1, 180 W. Mission Road.

Trauma support volunteers serve alongside emergency services personnel to provide immediate support, comfort and practical assistance to victims and their families in the first few hours following a structure fire, sudden or accidental death, or other traumatic event.

“Providing this type of program greatly reduces long-term effects of traumatic events,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “Volunteers often stay and assist family members long after emergency personnel have left the incident. This is invaluable for families that have suffered a traumatic event.”

Anyone interested in volunteering will be required to submit an application and successfully complete a screening process.  Applicants must possess a valid California driver’s license, be 25 years of age, have reliable transportation, be in good physical and emotional health, and live within the City of San Marcos or the San Marcos Fire Protection District.

For more information, please email Donna Gustafson, the Trauma Support Volunteer Coordinator, at dgustafson@san-marcos.net.  Or contact the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050 ext. 3410.

The San Marcos Fire Department will be joining the San Elijo Hills Association (HOA) Annual Meeting

SMCFD-logo1

The San Marcos Fire Department will be joining the San Elijo Hills Association (HOA) Annual Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, December 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Elijo Elementary School.

The San Marcos Fire Department will present information regarding fire protection, evacuation plans, community resources and ways San Elijo Hills homeowners can get involved. Representatives from the San Marcos Sheriff and Cal Fire will also join the meeting if schedules allow. San Elijo Hills Association homeowners interested in this topic should attend.

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