We have touched upon the risks of California's long-lasting drought and its potential to interrupt business continuity in the coming months, and the first major wildfire of the season did just that: more than 40 homes are destroyed, 39 of them in San Marcos, California alone, according to reports from Insurance Journal.
The San Diego County fire began last Tuesday, putting thousands of residents, visitors and military personnel in a vulnerable position. Despite the widespread damage that occurred in these affected areas, the Golden State's extensive experience with wildfires made the battle a lot easier.
Continuity of operations plan included evacuation orders in parts of Carlsbad, closing nearby Legoland and San Marcos, interrupting finals week at Cal State San Marcos. Residents who lived in these areas were also told to leave their homes.
"Please evacuate," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told residents during a previous press conference. "There will be no vandalism. We want you to return safely and not get hurt in these fires."
Assistance from more than 20 agencies like the U.S. military, advanced tactical fire fighters, San Diego Fire Rescue, Cal Fire and San Diego Sheriff's Department worked together on foot and in helicopters to combat the flames. Fire crews from stations as far as Alameda County traveled to San Diego County.
It has been a week since the blaze was seen, but it appears that more than 90 percent of it has been contained. Cooler temperatures have also made it easier for firefighters to reduce the size of the fire tremendously. As of May 20, four fires remain: one at a site at U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton and three in parts of San Marcos, the Los Angeles Times explained.
In the mean time, local news source San Diego 6 noted that law enforcement officials are working on an investigation to identify the cause of the fire.
"We owe it to these folks who have suffered through these catastrophic losses to ensure that a thorough fire investigation is completed and in the event someone is responsible for it that they will be help liable and be brought to justice," Cal Fire Captain Kendal Bortisser told the news source.
San Diego County and California's response to the situation could have gone a lot worse if they didn't have an action plan in place for these natural situations. However, their expertise about Santa Ana winds, dry conditions and warmer climate was clear, reducing the overall impact. Communities that wish to have an effective response to these risks can reach out to business continuity consultants.