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Red Flag Warning Prompts Officials To Beef Up Fire Crews Across Southland

The precautionary measure applies to Riverside County, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.

File photo of the Aug. 2013 Falls Fire that burned west of Lake Elsinore.  Photo/Toni McAllister
File photo of the Aug. 2013 Falls Fire that burned west of Lake Elsinore. Photo/Toni McAllister

A Red Flag Warning for expected Santa Ana wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour prompted firefighters to beef up their ranks in Riverside County, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention reported.

Cal Fire's precautionary measure would apply not just to Riverside County but to San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties as well, Cal Fire officials said.

The warning issued by the National Weather Service predicted that the winds would blow into Riverside County mountains, including the San Jacinto Ranger District, starting tonight. A strong ridge of pressure is expected to result in Santa Ana conditions over Southern California for much of next week, the NWS reported.

Very dry air, coupled with periods of gusty winds, will result in what the NWS called in critical fire weather conditions.

Cal Fire officials asked the public to not mow or trim dry grass on windy days, to never pull a vehicle in dry grass and to never burn leaves or branches on No Burn Days or whenever its windy.

Firefighters also cautioned residents to target shoot in approved areas and to use lead ammunition only, and to never shoot at metal targets. Campfires should always be extinguished completely and all portable, gasoline-powered equipment should have spark arresters, Cal Fire advised. --City News Service  

Just my opinion January 14, 2014 at 08:03 PM
Jeff- I agree. I don't resent cops or fireman. Most of them are in fact heroes, and some of them are unfortunately taken by work related dangerous tragedies, like Fred's son. God bless their souls. They are in large measure dedicated public servants. Every once in awhile, bad ones get in there though and they need to be removed. The police and fireman deserve the pay they get as well, but when one of them goes over the top and earns ridiculous amounts of money based on scamming overtime - they need to be called out by the others. It makes them all look bad. Wasting budgets is a bad practice in any industry. Good management oversight should correct these anomalies.
Justice For All January 14, 2014 at 10:00 PM
I'm not quite sure I understand this "gaming" term that's being tossed around. There are clearly a very few number of public servants who avail themselves to the overtime "gravy train." These folks may be greedy but they obviously aren't abusing anything or anyone but themselves. It demonstrates that a lot of workers value their time off and are willing to give up overtime work to the department "whore." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is managed and unavoidable overtime that would have to be payed out regardless of the recipient. It is built into every agency's budget. City managers find it much cheaper to pay overtime, rather than hire extra personnel and absorb all the other associated costs. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I realize to the cursory observer, that this looks like some type of irresponsibility must be involved, but it's been a fiscally sound approach to ultimately lower costs of operation.
Just my opinion January 14, 2014 at 10:09 PM
It is when it is used with responsibility. Extraordinarily long shifts are not safe to the employee or fair to the public who gets an overtired zombie as a first-respond-er. Ultimately, overtime is never a substitute for lack of staff. that's a City Manager B.S. excuse not to hire sufficient staff in the first place. People need time off to regenerate. It is both unwise and unsafe for people to work countless hours so they can stuff their pockets with money. Yes - the use of some overtime will always be necessary due to vacations, sick use, etc. as well as special events and emergencies. I'm talking about the self schedulers who abuse it. How bout taking all your regular shifts off and then working time and half to earn them back on your days off. The employee works the same hours but comes out ahead in hours earned or pay if taken....that's a ripoff to me.

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