Vista Fire Department on track with weed abatement notices

VISTA — Weed abatement remains a top issue for San Diego County, including the city of Vista. At a Vista Fire Protection District meeting in July, Fire Inspector Mike McFadden told directors that it was a busy month for weed abatement notices.

According to McFadden, some longtime residents were shocked to receive those notices. Due to the heavy rains, additional parcels required abatement and this netted the attention of fire inspectors.

McFadden said his department was fielding numerous calls as well as letters. He also described visiting with residents as a unique opportunity for more educational dialogue.

“It’s not uncommon for me to be in front of somebody talking to them and then have two neighbors come out,” McFadden said. “So that affords me the opportunity to spread the district message as to what we’re about, provide handouts to them, offer to look at their parcels right then and there, and give them ideas on how they can harden their stance against wildfires. So, it’s been very fruitful compared to the first quarter of this calendar year.”

Current fires burning within the state have raised fire awareness — residents are clearing their parcels.

“I’m sure the rest of you have seen there’s a whole lot of work that your constituents have been doing,” he said. “It looks very good at this point. I’m pleased with what we’re seeing.” 

During the meeting, McFadden showed some before and after weed abatement slides of Vista parcels. 

McFadden also pointed out that at the previous district meeting, Director Read Miller mentioned the Cal Fire website. McFadden shared that Miller was correct in that the site provided users with great information such as notification of a nearby fire, the location of fires within the state and other resources. All data is in real time.

Other helpful areas on the site included evacuation plans, emergency supply checklists, defensible space and more.

“It’s all the good stuff that we’re out there preaching every day,” McFadden said. “It’s a free download, and you can have it on your phone. It’s a great website, and Director Miller was absolutely correct.”

McFadden explained that he shared this information with the city of Vista’s communications director.

Another item mentioned, which was also suggested by Director Miller, was Pulse Point Automated External Defibrillator (AED). PulsePoint.org offers a registry and ability to update AEDs’ locations in the event someone has a cardiac arrest and requires emergency attention. A person can get the help they need even before paramedics arrive.

McFadden shared that Miller noted that he had been to a building in the city where Pulse Point AED didn’t have a listing — but an AED was there.

“So, you can add that information in and take a picture,” McFadden said. “So now everything is current.”

For more information about Cal Fire, visit   http://www.fire.ca.gov/ and  http://www.pulsepoint.org/ for AED locations.

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