SAN DIEGO -- State budget cuts have caused Cal Fire to scale back fire crews in San Diego County during the peak fire season.
Instead of four firefighters per engine, there will only be three, yet Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler said it shouldn't change their response time.
"Do we see fires getting bigger because of that? No, but that means we will have to order additional resources to make up that fourth firefighter," Mohler said.
The massive brush fire in Texas is also a good reminder that preparation is important. So far, the Possum Kingdom Lake fire has gutted around 150 homes and burned more than a million acres.
As the rainy season winds down, San Diego County is seeing vegetation spring up in canyons and hillsides. The plants in Rancho Penasquitos are four feet taller than a year ago, and once they dry, they'll pose a serious fire danger, Mohler said.
"Obviously, this is a concern for firefighters," said Mohler. "Growth is happening throughout the county, but fire departments are taking a proactive approach and making sure we are surveying these areas and ready to respond."
Fire inspections are going on around the county and they will continue through the summer months. Fire officials head to properties where there is a high fire threat and make recommendations and offer fire prevention tips to homeowners.
"You need to be proactive, get space cleared around your house," said Mohler. "You need to have an evacuation plan. Even though there is no smoke in the air, peak fire season is coming and we need to be ready for it."
Cal Fire trims crews as fire season approaches
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