Residents living in Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties interested in a fire prevention program email

Monday, August 15, 2011

CAL FIRE and Edison team up for 12th annual Operation Santa Ana

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit and Southern California Edison will begin the 12th annual Operation Santa Ana this Tuesday, August 16, 2011. Operation Santa Ana was initiated in 2000 as a response to a number of fires caused by power poles, lines, and equipment. Prior to the beginning of Operation Santa Ana approximately 50% of the large and damaging wildfires in Southern California were due to power line and equipment issues. This cooperative inspection program continues to be an annual event in the Inland Empire.

There has not been a major wildland fire caused by Edison pole or line clearance issues in the San Bernardino County areas where CAL FIRE is responsible for protection since the program began. This public/private cooperative effort involves one CAL FIRE Fire Prevention Officer and one Edison employee from their Line Clearance Division riding together to visually inspect pole and line clearances. The teams also look for power pole equipment that might be damaged or in need of repair. Annually, the teams inspect approximately 5,000 poles and more than 1,000 miles of power line.

The timing of this year's inspections is designed to have all phases completed and all the lines and poles checked prior to the arrival of the annual Santa Ana winds. The moisture in the wildland vegetation that was higher than usual for most of the summer is reaching volatile levels. For the people that live in the wildland interface or rural areas, they need to plan ahead. We know that in California and particularly Southern California, most of the largest fires occur during the late summer and fall months.

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Tim McClelland says "residents need to have a plan set and ready for when they have to GO! Know the evacuation routes from your home if a fire should break out, know what you need to take and have it ready to go. When the fire is approaching it is too late to figure out what to do." For some suggestions, you can go to . Remember, it is not if a fire will come, it's when. We are prepared to respond, are you?