Parks and Rec

Learn Fire Safety at County Parks

Fire safety events are coming to San Diego County parks, with CAL FIRE, U.S. Forest Service and park ranger experts sure to kindle your interest in fire science, preparedness and nature in an outdoor classroom.

Meet Smokey Bear, see a firetruck up close and take a hike to learn how fire affects our natural landscape. Experts can answer all your burning questions about fire.

Parks are perfect habitats to learn about fire protection. In the last few years, wildfires like the 2003 Cedar Fire, 2007 Witch Creek Fire and the May 2014 wildfires scorched both residential land and open space. This impacts local ecosystems and area inhabitants—people and wildlife. Incidents like these are tragic, but they have taught us how to communicate during disasters and how to prepare for and prevent future fires.

The first of these educational opportunities is planned for this weekend. All events are free and open to the public.

Fire Awareness Day

Join park staff for a fun, educational and hands-on experience with local firefighters at Felicita County Park, Picnic Area 1 on Saturday, July 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. CAL FIRE Station #77 will visit the Escondido park with an in-service engine to demonstrate all of the tricks and tools of the trade. Visitors of all ages will learn how to be fire safe and how to protect property.

Felicita County Park is located at 724 Clarence Lane, Escondido. Parking is $3. For more information, call 760-745-4379.

Fire Science Hike

Take a hike at Louis A. Stelzer County Park and learn about the effects of wildfires on our local environment and the many habitats that exist in San Diego County. Find out how fire behaves and how it can change our parks and the animals that live in it. A retired member of the U.S. Forest Service will share his expertise on the hike for youth and families.

The hike is with Ranger Vinnie from 10 to 11 a.m., Sunday, July 31 and again on August 28.

Louis A. Stelzer County Park is located at 11470 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside. Parking is $3. For more information, call 619-561-0580.

CAL FIRE Family Day

Come meet Smokey Bear and local firefighters at Lake Morena Regional Park next month. The park in Campo is the perfect location for this educational event; firefighting helicopters picked up water from the lake at the park to fight the recent Border Fire.

Attendees can get an up-close look at an in-service fire engine and learn how to be fire safe and what steps to take to protect their properties from wildfires. Wear a swimsuit and bring a towel; CAL FIRE may spray water (drought permitting).

This event is 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., August 20 at Lake Morena Regional Park, 2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo. Parking is $3. For more information, call 619-579-4101.

Learn more about emergency preparedness at and sign up your cell phone to get emergency notifications through AlertSanDiego.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact