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San Diego County installs ground-based wildfire protection measures

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has agreed a contract with Perimeter Solutions to provide PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY long-term fire retardant as part of the County’s newly approved Roadside Vegetation Management for Evacuation Preparedness Program.

PHOS-CHEK FORTIFY is a ground-based, highly durable fire retardant that is applied on flammable vegetation and cellulosic material one time early in the fire season before a wildfire approaches and provides ongoing protection from wildfire, remaining effective until a significant rain event occurs.

The USDA Forest Service has used PHOS-CHEK long-term fire retardant for nearly 60 years to suppress and prevent the spread of active wildfires.

These new efforts are a result of a board letter introduced by Supervisors Anderson and Desmond in March of 2021.

“Keeping San Diego County residents safe from wildfires is one of my top priorities, and it is critical that we take advantage of new technologies that help us to be more proactive with our wildfire prevention efforts,” Supervisor Anderson commented.

“I’d like to thank County Fire staff, CAL-FIRE, and Perimeter Solutions for working together to apply this fire retardant alongside Wildcat Canyon Road—the connection between Lakeside and Barona that has a devastating history with wildfires.”

Wes Bolsen, Business Director of Wildfire Prevention and Protection at Perimeter Solutions, added: “We are proud that San Diego County has selected Perimeter Solutions to partner with them to help save lives and protect property. We applaud them for their initiative in developing a proactive strategy to prevent wildfires and believe they have developed a model that can be adopted by communities throughout the Western United States and other areas impacted by wildfire.”

San Diego County maintains nearly 2,000 miles of roadway, many of which serve as key corridors for area evacuation and response to wildfires. As wildfire season increases in length and intensity, the risk of wildfire impacting the area continues to rise. In fact, data show that 79% of unincorporated San Diego County falls in areas at high or very high risk of wildfire, and that wildfires have burned more than 40% of the unincorporated area since the year 2000.