SD County Board Approves Grants for Firefighting Helicopter, Brush Clearance

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Article by Debbie L. Sklar  |  Read full article in Times of San Diego

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a pair of fire-safety measures Tuesday, including the acceptance of a federal grant to help purchase a firefighting helicopter.

The board approved a $3.75 million federal grant, with the money earmarked for the purchase of a twin-engine firefighting helicopter. County officials said the helicopter will also help bolster search-and-rescue efforts, in addition to suppression of wildland fires.

“When a fire starts and lives are in danger, every second counts. The new firefighting helicopter will help suppress flames and rescue people in harm’s way,” Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, vice chair of the board, said in a statement.

The board also approved a $3.41 million federal grant to reduce fire risks in heavily vegetated areas.

“Clearing vegetation along roads, especially in our unincorporated areas, is a preventative measure to reduce the possibility of fires along evacuation routes. We adopted a wildfire evacuation preparedness plan last year, and this will help us continue to put it into action,” Lawson-Remer said.