Confusing lessons from Ramona fire

There are lessons to be learned from the recent Casner Fire that burned 174 acres north of Highway 78 & Casner Road Intermountain/Witch Creek near Ramona.
We asked Valley Center Fire Chief Joe Napier what might be learned from this fire, which was caused by someone using a tractor to clear vegetation during warm weather.
The chief said, “This is always a challenge due to the fact that we are asking our residents to provide defensible space to protect their home and to protect the community. We always ask that this is accomplished in late spring before the seasonal grass has a chance to cure and become more receptive to a spark from mowing equipment or from the hot exhaust of a weed whacker. We also ask that home owners and contractors perform this work in the morning hours before the heat of the day and when the humidity is high to prevent ignition of the surrounding grass and brush.”
Chief Napier added, “Lastly, If you are operating mowing equipment and gas powered weed whackers, you are taking a huge risk when doing so in the heat of the day when the grass and surrounding vegetation is dry and receptive to ignition from sparks. Once the fire starts, there is not much of a chance catching it as it grows which could trap the operator or threaten homes.”

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