redflagAs Santa Ana winds and the possibility of wildfires loom on the horizon, the San Bernardino County Fire Department held a press conference on Monday to discuss the new Red Flag Warning program.

In an effort to promote wildfire readiness within San Bernardino County, County Fire has implemented the Red Flag Community Notification program. When conditions for extreme fire danger arise and the National Weather Service posts a Fire Weather Watch or a Red Flag Warning, residents will see a red flag flown below the American flag at all County Fire stations within the affected area.  Residents will then know to prepare by focusing on preparation and prevention in and around their homes.

“The Red Flag Warning program is designed to enhance public safety by providing a visual reminder that extreme fire conditions are predicted or present.” Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said.  “This program is another tool in reaching out to communities during Red Flag Warnings and asking them to take extra precautions.”

Deputy Chief Jim Johnstone reiterated that County Fire is poised and prepared to defend life and property within the county.  He said, “San Bernardino County Fire has an arsenal of resources readily available. These include our specialized firefighting workforce, gel task force, dozers, hand crews, and a partnership with the Sheriff’s Department for water dropping helicopters.” County Fire continuously monitors all factors that contribute to the potential for large and damaging wildfires and staff our resources accordingly.

Along with the Red Flag Warning program, the Chiefs discussed other prevention tools such as the Ready! Set! Go! program. “This program is about helping residents understand how their home’s location, surrounding vegetation, construction elements, and other factors place them at risk during a wildfire.” Fire Marshal Mike Horton said.  Defensible space, disaster plans, and evacuation preparedness all make up the Ready! Set! Go! program to help citizens protect themselves and their family.

County Fire asks that you be our eyes and ears, our lookouts. If you see smoke or someone doing something that potentially can start a fire, call 9-1-1 and report it immediately. One spark is all it takes to start a devastating wildfire, especially during a Red Flag warning.  Learn how you can be prepared, visit our website at

Courtesy photos from Monday’s press conference can be located at under latest news.

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