Public Safety

10 Things to Avoid During High Fire Danger

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning in the mountains and valleys of San Diego County and is expected to continue through Wednesday. During a red flag warning, the danger is high for wildfires due to the gusty winds, low humidity and heat.

“During this critical fire weather, we are asking residents to be alert and take extra precautions to avoid inadvertently sparking a wildfire,” said Kendal Bortisser, public information officer for San Diego County Fire and CAL FIRE.

These activities are often restricted or at least strongly discouraged:

  1. Never mow or trim dry grass during a red flag warning because a power tool could spark on a rock and start a grass fire. It is not recommended even on windy, dry, hot days.
  2. No wood or charcoal camp fires in forests during periods of high fire danger. Restrictions such as this one are often communicated on the Cleveland National Forest page.
  3. Be careful with discarding smoking material. Note, smoking may be prohibited in forests during periods of high fire danger.
  4. Don’t pull your vehicle over in grass as it can spark a grass fire. If necessary, pull over on paved roads.
  5. Use spark arrestors on portable gasoline powered equipment to avoid an accidental fire.
  6. Properly maintain vehicles to prevent starting fires along roads due to sparks or flammable materials being spit out from the catalytic converter system.
  7. Ensure trailer chains don’t drag on the ground and spark.
  8. Shooting of firearms is unsafe during periods of high fire hazards in County areas.
  9. Use extreme caution with welding or blowtorch projects. Again, this activity may be restricted in forest areas during elevated fire conditions.
  10. Burning plant cuttings on high fire danger days is unsafe. To learn if it is a “No Burn Day,” visit CAL FIRE.

To stay informed in the event of a regional emergency, residents can download the County’s SD Emergency app in English or Spanish from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. The app provides news updates, maps, shelter locations and includes disaster planning templates and interactive checklists. If a regional emergency, such as a wildfire, does occur, updates and other information will be posted at and sent out via the app.

Complete a family disaster plan template from the app or from to help your family plan for an emergency including where to meet if you are separated and cannot return home.

You can also stay in touch with official emergency information by registering for AlertSanDiego or ListoSanDiego, the County’s cell phone notification service. By doing that, you will receive any emergency messages that apply to your neighborhood on your cell phone. To find more information about safeguarding your home from wildfires and general disaster preparation, visit

More weather forecast information and updates are available at the National Weather Service.


Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact