Throughout our region, Fire Safe Councils consisting of volunteers are helping their neighbors and fellow citizens get ready for the wildfire season through outreach and educational activities on creating defensible space and emergency preparedness plans.
Today, we hosted our annual breakfast for these volunteers to recognize the incredible work that they do to keep our communities safe. For the 10th consecutive year, we also awarded grants to them to support their ongoing wildfire safety efforts.
A total of 42 organizations – including tribal community safety partners – received grants of $2,500 each. Award recipients included organizations from every corner of the region, from Scripps Ranch to Pine Valley, from Deer Springs to Kensington, from Mount Laguna to Chula Vista.
In addition to conducting public outreach and education efforts on defensible space and structure hardening, members of Fire Safe Councils also volunteer their time to support vegetation clearance and chipping, in concert with local firefighting agencies.
Fire Safe Councils Making a Difference in Their Communities
One of the grant recipients is the Real East County Fire Safe Council, which has been very active in providing wildfire preparedness education in the backcountry. Tammy Daubach, who founded the Real East County Fire Safe Council with her husband, Ken, said the grant SDG&E provides is practically the entire annual budget of the volunteer group.
“We stretch those dollars,” Tammy said, noting that her group also helps with seniors with brush clearance on their property.
The funds, she said, helps with operational expenses, such as purchasing T-shirts for volunteers and paying for expenses associated with holding training events. This year, one idea for use of the funds is to create bulletin boards to post wildfire safety information. Boulevard, where the Daubachs, live is a rural community about 60 miles east of San Diego. Homes out there are located far apart from each other, with many residents living on properties that are 80 acres or larger.
Volunteering is a family affair. Ken Daubach wears the Sparky the fire dog costume to outreach events. The costumed Daubach is often seen in photo-ops and is very popular with children. Ken and Tammy’s adult children also help out with the Fire Safe Council’s administrative tasks, such as sending out emails and creating fliers. They even created the group’s logo.
To learn more about SDG&E’s wildfire safety efforts, visit sdge.com/wildfire-safety.